By Kato Kalibbala
TORONTO CANADA: Ugandan citizens living in Canada will be able to access registration for National Identity Cards and duo citizenship from home, as soon as the National Registration Authority (NIRA) staff arrive in the country, as plans for this exercise by the Ugandan Government are into final stages.
This was revealed by Uganda’s High Commissioner to Canada Amb Joy Ruth Acheng, while opening Uganda Canadian Diaspora Business Expo and Convention 2021, at Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Toronto Canada on 9th October -Independence Day.
According to Amb Acheng, the Ugandan High Commission has already zoned Canada into three centers; Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal where Ugandans who wish to possess the two important identities will register from. NIRA has already sent/secured equipment in Canada for the purpose, just awaiting for the NIRA personnel to arrive into the country.
The National ID is a requirement for one to apply for a duo citizenship whereby the government decided to ease the process for Ugandan Canadians who have been experiencing hardships to travel back home for this service and incur expenses for visas while some pay heavy penalties for overstay in their home country when they visit. The exercise would have been implemented earlier if the covid-19 pandemic did not slow the progress.
The Principal Immigration Officer, Dedorah Amanya, who represented Ministry of Internal Affairs, the duo citizenship registration has been digitized and one can now apply for all documents online including passport, duo citizenship and birth certificate. She however noted that many applicants find challenges with this process, because many do not follow the prompts which require some information before proceeding. She urged all those who would wish to register for National IDs online, to have the required documents ready with them for a smooth process.
The Immigration attaché at Uganda High Commission Ottawa-Canada, Butera Gloria, informed Ugandans that the High Commission staff are to serve Ugandans first, and they should not suffer much with processing the repatriation of deceased Ugandans in case one passes on. The relatives and friends of the dead will be required to provide the necessary information including the death certificate and funeral Director’s info, and leave the rest to the mission to handle which will ease the process and avoid unnecessary delays and additional costs.
Ms Butera regretted the incident involving the body of a Ugandan which spent long due to hiccups with the processing of repatriation documents, but at last, the process was finalized despite delays.
Corey Myckan, the country Director for World Remit -the main sponsor for this years’ convention, announced a waver of charges on all transactions for Ugandans who will send money using their Mobile App, up to November, as an independence offer. He said the offer was extended because this year’s convention coincided with Uganda’s independence. World Remit sends money to over 130 countries in 70 currencies all over the world.
Post Bank Uganda’s Relationship Manager Diaspora Banking, Florence Nsenga, on behalf of post Bank urged Ugandan Canadians to open accounts with Post Bank to ease and safeguard their money by making direct business and apply for mortgage to own property back home.
‘With Post Bank Account you even pay school fees directly to school for your relatives and bypass middle person’ Nsenga said.
Speaker after speaker, the issue of disunity among Ugandans in Canada was raised as on e of concern which complicates life for some community members.
In her response, Amb Acheng hinted on the wrong perception about politics where opposition supporters in Canada shun national events invents and miss out on important information which would impact positively on their lives.
“I belong to UPC, and I have never denounced my membership yet I work with NRM which I opposed while still a Woman Member of Parliament for Kole district” Acenge said. She urged Ugandans to just contact the Mission for any issue regardless of one’s political background or ideological standpoint.
At the event, several companies presented papers on investment including SIGNALLYTICCA, Stuacan Maintenance, Farkhruddin Properties, Africa Trade Desk and Jason’s Modern Properties LTD, among others.
Earlier in the day Pastor Eddy Jjumba of Dominion Church International will leader Sunday Prayers at the same Venue. The Independence Day celebrations climaxed with a boat cruise on Lake Ontario. The second day of the convention will be addressed by a renowned Pan Africanist PLO Lumumba as Keynote Speaker and a Lifetime Award to be given to Dr, Shaka SSali, and later a dance dinner.