By Moses Walubiri
MINISTRY of Foreign Affairs has identified the Ugandan arrested at Guangzhou Airport with 'high grade cocaine' as a one George Lubega.
According to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, James Mugume, Lubega was apprehended on July 1 exactly two weeks after the authorities in the same city executed two Ugandans for trafficking in drugs.
The two – Omara Ddamulira and Andrew Ngobi – were found in possession of high grade cocaine with a street value of over sh6b.
The duo’s fate parted curtains on the perils young people in Uganda face in trying to make quick cash through pushing drugs in the oriental country whose anti-narcotic laws are some of the toughest on the globe.
Although Mugume was reticent about the quantity of drugs Lubega was carrying, he revealed that he was already in detention as the wheels of justice slowly gather pace.
“He is in detention and his family has been notified. We are yet to get more details,” Mugume told New Vision on Monday.
Lubega’s woes have swollen the ranks of Ugandans languishing in Chinese jails over drug related offences, with Uganda’s Ambassador to China, Charles Wagidoso, putting the figure at over 100.
Uganda’s Ambassador to China, Charles Wagidoso recently revealed that Uganda and China were set to sign protocols that would see Ugandan convicts serve jail terms at home.
Following the execution of the two Ugandans last month, Wagidoso revealed that Uganda and China were set to sign protocols that would see Ugandans serving long jail terms in the oriental country transferred to Ugandan jails.
The revelation was given impetus days later, with Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN General Assembly President elect, Sam Kutesa, promising to engage Chinese authorities over the possibility of the mooted transfer of Ugandan inmates in Chinese jails.
Despite frantic diplomatic efforts to help Ugandans caught in Chinese dragnets over illicit drugs, Government has routinely made it clear that those foolhardy enough to push drugs in foreign countries should not expect anything beyond consular services.
But with chronic unemployment and weak anti-narcotic laws compared to other countries in the region, legal and security experts contend that Uganda’s transit points will remain high on the agenda of West African drug barons who own much of the drugs getting Ugandans in trouble.
Sources at ministry of Foreign Affairs indicate that Uganda’s missions and consulates in the Far East are swamped with an avalanche of reports of Ugandans arrested at airports over pushing drugs.
In June last year, a 39 year old Ugandan man, Bashir Gadafi Polikoko, was arrested at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Indonesia with 66 capsules of crystal methamphetamine in his stomach (1 kg of drugs).
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