By Stephen Wandera firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPALA, Uganda, Internal Affairs Minister Gen. J.J. Odong has assured foreigners of a quick application visa application process.
“There is no reason for a visa application to take two weeks. We now apply for visa online and you should get response within one week. If it is not replied in one week walk into immigrations and ask what is wrong with your visa,” he said.
Gen. Odong’s response was after Mr Al- Malik Azhar, the chairman, Pakistan Society Uganda, raised the concern during the Pakistani day celebrations at Golf Course Hotel 18th August, 2018.
Mr Malik also complained of the high work permit fees he described as deterring investment.
“Investors are invited to Uganda but work permit fee of US$2500 (about Shs9.4million) is too high. At least let it be US$1000 (Shs3.8 million). You find someone applies for work permit for three years but is given one year. To make matters worse, our children and spouses are not covered. We are required to pay another US$100 for student visa annually,” he said.
When it comes to renewing our passport, we have to spend a lot to travel all the way to Nairobi, Kenya where we have the Pakistani embassy, Mr Malik noted. Adding, “We should have an embassy here in Kampala to facilitate our business.”
Gen. Odong promised to forward the work permit matter to relevant government authorities with ministry of finance.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Okello Oryem who also attended the celebrations, said he has invited Pakistan Prime Minister to open an embassy in Uganda.
Meanwhile Ms Rukia Nakadama, former State Minister for Gender has been appointed the new Pakistani Consulate to Uganda replacing the late Bonney Katatumba.
“As a new elected consulate, we have opened our new office in Ntinda. I am here to facilitate the Pakistani nationals get good environment for businesses.
Mr Malik said the society that started in 1973, is to drill bore holes in Uganda depending on demand.
Mr Imran Babar, the manager, Exim Bank said as an emerging financial institution with major shareholding from Tanzania welcomed the public for a competitive and customized prices. The bank with five branches local with more in the pipelined also operates in Tanzania, Comoros and Djibouti.
The function was also graced by Mr Bilal Muhsin Khan First Secretary, Pakistan Embassy, Nairobi Kenya.