Uganda’s ambassador to UAE has denied reports that Ugandans seeking help in the Arabian country are neglected.
By Taddeo Bwambale
Uganda’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Prof Semakula Kiwanuka has denied reports that Uganda’s embassy neglects Ugandans seeking help in the Arab country.
This follows a petition signed by 65 people protesting alleged neglect by officials at the Embassy in Dubai. The petition was presented to Parliament by MPs Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality) and Hussein Kyanjo of Makindye West.
Addressing journalists at the media centre on Tuesday, Kiwanuka dismissed the petition, describing it as a deliberate campaign by the MPs to discredit the embassy.
“The petition is a forgery and those who presented it have ill-motives. We challenge them to provide evidence of such allegations,” he said.
He wondered how Kyanjo and Nambooze could raise 65 signatures for the petition, saying the embassy meets no more than 30 people whenever it calls meetings.
About 3,000 Ugandans live and work in the United Arab Emirates, but many of them operate underground.
According to the petition, the embassy failed to establish good working relations with Dubai, was not promoting tourism in Uganda and remained reluctant to intervene when asked for help.
Kiwanuka said the embassy had so far helped to provide 165 Ugandans with emergency travel documents after they were deported or had lost their travel documents.
He also said the embassy officials often visit Ugandans in detention and supports families of those bereaved during burial.
“My staff has worked tirelessly to visit Ugandans detained for various offenses in detention camps, jails or hospitals,” he said.
He said the petitioners were targeting his job. “Some people believe that only they qualify to represent Uganda in Arab countries. There is no problem if they have the qualifications and follow the due procedure,” he said.
Kiwanuka declined to comment on reports that he was intending to resign. “I am on duty. If I had issues with the appointing authority, I would not be on the job,” he said.
Kiwanuka, a former investment state minister, said bilateral ties between Uganda and UAE were excellent, and that trade relations had improved since the embassy was established in 2009.
He, however, disclosed that some Government offices have been frustrating potential investments into the country from the Arab country.
Embassy denies mistreating Ugandans in UAE