What you need to know:
- Also, since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic early last year, several ambassadors and other staff of the various ranks deserted their stations and sought refuge back home.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sam Kutesa, has directed all Ugandan ambassadors to immediately go back to their workstations abroad.
In a February 18 circular, Mr Kutesa stated that several envoys have been in the country during and after elections.
“This is to direct all heads and deputy heads still in Kampala to report back to their duty stations as soon as possible and in any case not later than end of this month,” Mr Kutesa wrote.
“Those on leave should consider it cancelled and to be taken at a later date.”
Diplomatic sources told this newspaper the decision came on the heels of the European Union (EU) Parliament unanimously voting to among others, invoke the Magnitsky Act to sanction individuals and organisations responsible for egregious human rights violations during and after the January 14 polls.
Sources further indicated added that since the deadly November protests during which security personnel killed more than 50 people, the government has been under “immense international scrutiny bordering on assault” while embassies abroad are almost empty or left to lower ranking officers.
Also, since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic early last year, several ambassadors and other staff of the various ranks deserted their stations and sought refuge back home.
Mr Kutesa’s circular however drew mixed reactions. One ambassador, speaking to this newspaper on condition of anonymity described it as “an attempt to cover up the incompetence at headquarter” in Kampala.
Since appointment in January 2017, during the ambassador’s reshuffle, this ambassador said “we have never had an ambassador’s conference to discuss issues of importance. Now there is a crisis over the country’s image and it’s a crisis.”
Another ambassador indicated that with 98 per cent of the ambassador political appointees, “many are uneasy about their fate.” With a long list of political rejects it is expected President Museveni will send of them to serve at Uganda’s 37 Missions abroad.
Uganda’s Missions abroad serve three main purposes, economic/commercial, consular services and political cooperation. Some serve only one, two or all the three, owing to their mission charters, location, size, and budgets.