Thomas Tayebwa, deputy speaker of parliament, summoned Foreign Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo to explain to parliament why Ugandans continue to have difficulty obtaining visas to other countries.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, has summoned Foreign Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo to explain to parliament why some Ugandans continue to find difficulties in acquiring visas to other countries.
“Rt Hon Prime Minister, I would like to request that in two weeks’ time the Minister of Foreign Affairs brings a comprehensive report on how they are negotiating for visa friendly terms for the ordinary” Taybewa directed while giving his communication at the start of the plenary sitting on Thursday.
He said of recent many Ugandans have been coming to his office to seek recommendations to help them acquire visas to travel abroad.
Tayebwa noted that the visa conditions for many countries outside Uganda including those in Africa are complicated, which has affected many people’s business plans.
He said that the press has quoted the Minister of foreign affairs saying that Mozambique, whose President Felipe Nyusi is in Uganda, has accepted visa-free travel for Ugandans to visit his country.
“This brings me to an issue where I have received many people coming for recommendations for Visas. It has been very difficult to get Visas. Our President has been advocating for Pan Africanism but it is hard for our people to travel to other countries in Africa,’’ Tayebwa gave an example of one Minister who was sick but struggled to access a South African visa for the caretaker because of the restrictions on ordinary passport holders.
“For me as a Ugandan I would like to see that our passport is respected so that our people can access visas to travel abroad,’’ he said.
In addition, he suggested that Uganda should borrow a leaf from other African countries that have invested in negotiations with other governments for VISA friendly terms and it is working.
‘’While I must acknowledge that Africa as a whole finds VISA requirements for travel to Europe and elsewhere tightened & the process cumbersome. I must admit that some African countries have invested in negotiations with other governments for VISA friendly terms and it is working,’’ Tayebwa suggested.
I have therefore sought an engagement between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Parliament in which I request that an exhaustive report be prepared on how we as a country are negotiating for visa friendly terms with other governments for our people,’’ he added.