President Museveni has said he “loves” United States (US) President, Donald Trump, who recently labelled Africa as a shithole, because Mr Trump is frank.
“I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly. I don't know whether he's misquoted or whatever. He talks to Africans frankly. In the world, you cannot survive if you're weak......that's why we need East African integration," Mr Museveni said during the opening of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) assembly in Kampala on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, the US ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, in a one-on-one with the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, said Mr Trump’s comment about the continent was insensitive.
“Obvious for people like me and many of my colleagues who have spent many years working in Africa, have many relationships and friendships across the continent, [the comments] are obviously quite disturbing and upsetting…” Ms Malac said.
“…I can assure you that we remain engaged and committed to working not just in Uganda but in all the other countries that we work with on the continent and our programmes continue,” she added.
Ms Malac was responding to Ms Kadaga’s query about the comment attributed to Mr Trump.
The New York Times reported on January 11, 2018 that President Trump balked at an immigration deal that would include protections for people from Haiti and some nations in Africa, demanding to know at a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than from places like Norway, according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation.
The publication added that the comments were reminiscent of one’s President Trump made in 2017 in an Oval Office meeting with cabinet officials and administration aides, during which he complained about admitting Haitians to the country, saying that they all had AIDS, as well as Nigerians, who he said would never go back to their “huts,” according to officials who heard the statements in person or were briefed on the remarks by people who had.
Three days later, the publication reported that President Trump declared on January 14 that the derogatory comment attributed to him during an Oval Office meeting on immigration last week did not occur.
Ms Malac said the comment attributed to Mr Trump will not distract her from working with the government and the people of Uganda.
If anything, she and the team in Uganda that she leads will refocus its effort and energy in improving the lives of more Ugandans.