By Joyce Namutebi
Uganda is to open missions in Mogadishu, Brazil, Kuala Lumpur and Asmara, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign affairs, Ambassador James Mugume has said.
He explained that the opening of a mission in Mogadishu is key to Uganda's image in Somalia. He, however, said additional Sh2.48b is required by the ministry to effect it.
"We have played a big role in stablisation of Somalia. We should help the Somalis come together, consolidate the benefits on the progress we have made in the security sector," he added.
He also explained that Brazil, Kuala Lumpur and Asmara are "among the fastest growing economies and have an impact on regional trade and security." Opening of these missions, he said, requires sh5.8b.
He was appearing before the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs together with state minister for international affairs, Henry Okello Oryem over the budget of the ministry for the coming financial year.
Uganda's missions, Mugume said on Tuesday, have a budget of sh68b in 2013/14 compared to sh67b for the previous year.
On the mission building in Ottawa Mugume told the committee that the building had been condemned and even the property management unit had recommended that they move out. "We have decided to move staff temporarily," he said.
He briefed the committee about proposals contained in a Cabinet Paper they had written on financing Uganda's properties abroad.
Mugume told MPs that they require at leastsh10b to meet the immediate maintenance costs for Uganda's properties abroad and also Sh26b to clear arrears for Uganda's contributions to international organisations.
He also revealed that a provision for exchange losses estimated at sh5.9b is required to cover for depreciation of the shilling against the major foreign currencies.
The ministry, he said, also requires sh500m to facilitate the appointment of Ugandan candidates to the UN general Assembly in effort to influence decisions favourable to uplifting the country's image.
Reacting to the submission MPs, however, asked the ministry officials to reduce the mission in order to manage those that would be remaining effectively given the small resource envelop the ministry gets.
Kole MP, Fred Ebil particularly objected to the opening of a mission in Asmara saying the ministry should concentrate on those that can generate revenue.