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MP tables constitutional amendment on recognition of Maragoli tribe

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | The Kibanda South MP Jack Odur Lutanywa has tabled before Parliament a Constitutional Amendment Bill seeking the recognition of the Maragoli as one of the indigenous tribes in Uganda.

Lutanywa tabled the Bill for its first reading before a plenary session chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who then referred it to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for Consideration. 

The object of the Bill seen is to amend the Third Schedule to the Constitution to include the Maragoli who settled in Uganda in the l9th Century as one of Uganda’s indigenous communities as at 1st February 1926.

The Maragoli community living in Kigumba in Kiryandongo district, Ntoma and other parts of Masindi district are a Kenyan tribe that left their homeland in the 1920s. Reports indicate that they moved from Kenya after an agreement was reached at between the then British colonial government and Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.

While being granted leave to present the constitutional amendment in February, Lutanywa expressed concern that the Maragoli who have been in existent in Uganda was never included in the Third Schedule of the Constitution as one of the country’s indigenous communities. He then noted that the Maragoli people have since the 1990s sought for the inclusion in the Constitution through petitions to MPs, ministers, different department ministries and the President.

According to Lutanywa, the Maragoli in Kiryandongo district alone number over 30,000 people and the MP says that these have suffered for a long time since they are not recognized and therefore cannot access some social services like acquiring the National Identity Card, process Passports and others.

In 2017, the National Identification Registration Agency (NIRA) held onto 15,000 national identity cards of members of the Maragoli community on grounds that they are not a recognized tribe in Uganda.

The Maragoli sometimes referred to as Logoli or AvaLogooli, is the second-largest tribe of the 6 million-strong Luhya community in Kenya, after the Bukusu. The dialect they speak is called Llogoli, Urulogoli, or Maragoli. Some of the Maragoli clans include the Gonda, Mavi, Sachi, Saniaga, Vulughi, Ndega, Sari”, Ng’ang’ a and Yonga.

Chapter three of the 1995 Constitution provides for citizenship under Articles 9 to 19, where it provides for citizenship by birth, adoption, registration and naturalization among others. The Third Schedule to the constitution provides a list of 65 indigenous communities whose members qualify for citizenship by birth because such communities were living in Uganda as of February 1, 1926.

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