FORMER UN diplomat Olara Otunnu, who returned recently after 23 years abroad, has got a new Ugandan passport. He, however, said he would drag President Yoweri Museveni to court for denying him a passport for all that time.
FORMER UN diplomat Olara Otunnu, who returned recently after 23 years abroad, has got a new Ugandan passport.
He, however, said he would take President Yoweri Museveni to court for denying him a passport for all that time.
The UPC presidential hopeful received his ordinary passport from the immigration department at the internal affairs ministry yesterday morning.
Otunnu, who has just ended a nationwide tour, displayed the passport to journalists at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
â€œThis is the passport. Itâ€™s this little document I have been waiting for for 23 years,â€ he said.
Otunnu, the former UN under-secretary general for children in armed conflict, observed that having or not having a passport did not legalise or de-legalise his citizenship.
â€œItâ€™s a document used internationally to testify to my citizenship. When I walked through the airport to come to Uganda, I did not have this. I was still a Ugandan citizen (by birth), a basis upon which I was admitted here.â€
Otunnu said on arrival at Entebbe Airport on August 22, he had his passport application forms filled out. However, he was advised to take them to the passport control office in the immigration office, which he did.
â€œThe only delay is that they thought my photograph was not impressive enough. They wanted ties and suits. That one we had to negotiate,â€ said Otunnu who has been wearing African designs.
The immigration department issues passports lasting 10 years. However, Otunnu said his would last for life.
â€œThe Ugandan people will not allow anyone to take it away from me. Museveni has got the message now. But I will still take them to court. President Museveni denied me my right to a passport.â€ He would not say when or where he would file the case.
On the official UN website, Otunnu is described as an Ivorian. Government officials said Otunnu renounced his Ugandan citizenship to get endorsement from Ivory Coast for his candidature for the post of UN secretary general in 1996 after Museveni refused to support him.
To facilitate his return to Uganda, the Government through issued Otunnu with â€œa special travel documentâ€
Otunnu gets new Ugandan passport