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Ugandan embassies worry MPs

Members of Parliament have expressed concern over the state of the country's foreign missions, which they said was portraying a bad image of Uganda internationally.

The concern was raised by Gulu Municipality MP Hon. Lyandro Komakech, during a plenary sitting on Thursday 12 April, 2018.

We visited Uganda's embassy in Brussels and we found it dilapidated, said Hon. Komakech, adding that The Ministry of Finance should avail money amounting to Ushs5 billion, to salvage the situation.

Members noted that in some countries, Uganda had lost out on prime land given by foreign governments for construction of missions.

We lost land in Abuja in Nigeria and Guangzhou in China, which is not good news for us. We need to do more to improve the situation out there, noted Hon. Rose Mutonyi (NRM, Bubulo County West).

Hon. Reagan Okumu (Ind., Aswa County) also highlighted the uneasy situation under which ambassadors representing Uganda were operating, which wasn't depicting a good image in the given countries.

Our ambassadors in Rome [Italy] and Moscow [Russia] are living badly. One time the vehicle of our ambassador in Rome broke down in traffic and it had to be towed away, Hon. Okumu said.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga noted the need to improve Uganda's embassies abroad, and asked the Ministry of Finance to provide the required funds.

We were given prestigious addresses by those countries, we need to keep Uganda's image good, said Kadaga.

The Speaker recommended that money from inflows from the embassy in Kenya be channeled to financing the rehabilitation of the Ugandan embassy in Brussels, rather than being deposited in the consolidated fund.

Kadaga demanded that the Minister assures Parliament that funds meant for missions would not be cut after the budget is approved.

The Minister of State for Finance (Planning), Hon. David Bahati (NRM, Ndorwa West) said the ministry had allocated Ushs5 billion in the next financial year, to cater for the Uganda embassy in Brussels. He promised that the money would not be reallocated following the approval of the budget.

All Government institutions have received 95 percent of money allocated to them every financial year. We will ensure that embassies receive 100 percent of money allocated to them in the budget, Hon. Bahati said.

Source: Parliament of Uganda

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