Govt On Spot For Sending 71 Delegates To The UN Assembly

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The shadow minister for foreign affairs, Muwada Nkunyingi, who also serves as the member of parliament for Kyadondo East, has strongly criticized the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its decision to dispatch two separate delegations to represent Uganda at the 78th UN General Assembly held in New York, USA.

Muwada expressed his dissatisfaction during a press conference at the parliament yesterday, holding General J.J. Odongo and his team responsible for this matter. He revealed that the government had sent a total of 71 members split into two groups, one led by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and the other by Vice President Jessica Alupo, to participate in the General Assembly.

According to Muwada, various ministers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had authorized these two delegations, which he regarded as a misuse of public funds. Each member of these delegations was entitled to a per diem of 3.5 million shillings, in addition to expenses for airfare and accommodation, among other costs. Muwada also pointed out that some officials had exploited the delegation’s size to include their relatives, singling out State Minister for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem, who brought along his wife.

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Furthermore, Muwada criticized the fact that some of these delegates had no specific role at the UN General Assembly and were subsequently denied access to the venue, leading them to spend most of their time in their hotel rooms at the taxpayers’ expense. Muwada called for accountability from General J.J. Odongo and his counterparts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for failing to provide proper guidance to the government on such matters.

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Muwada argued that the funds allocated for this large delegation could have been better utilized to assist Ugandans in dire situations, such as the 96 Ugandan girls reportedly held in various UAE prisons on mental health grounds and others who were unable to leave the country for various reasons.

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly commenced on September 5, 2023, with the High-Level Week occurring from September 18 to 22 in New York.

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