The Minister of foreign affairs has been Gen. Jeje Odongo had been summoned by Parliament to answer to queries relating to reports that Uganda sent parallel delegations to the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
This is after the Shadow Minister of foreign affairs Muwada Nkunyingi petitioned Parliament, saying that out of the seventy member delegation that travelled to the United States of America to attend the Summit in the eastern state of New York, only ten (10) were accredited.
“Sixty (60) were not accredited but appeared as advisors. We hear and we have read that the State Minister of Foreign affairs accredited his wife, honourable Okello Oyrem. The Right honourable Prime Minister attended and appeared as an advisor,” adding that there have been various media reports on the matter and urged the Deputy Speaker to summon the Minister to explain to the House and country at large on what exactly transpired during the trip to New York.
The Kyadondo East legislator also requested Parliament to put the minister to task to account for the non-accredited delegates including spouses of the officials who travelled on tax payers’ funds.
It is against this background that the Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa directed the minister to present a comprehensive on the matter on Thursday.
Tayebwa in response noted that NKunyingi raised a very pregnant issue that has been making round in both mainstream and social media for a while, and directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeje Odongo to come on Thursday and explain as requested.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 78th Session that was concluded recently, had Vice President Ms Jessica Alupo representing President Museveni. However Prime Minister Nabbanja also surfaced with another delegation, pushing the number that represented Uganda to 71 and sparking confusion and diplomatic headache for hosts.
The Uganda Mission to the United Nations in New York, which in this case is the host and coordinator of activities of visiting Ugandan delegation, had upon notification by Foreign Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo, prepared for a 51-member entourage led by the Vice President, begging the question of how did the Prime Minister attend the meeting as an advisor? This comes at a time when government is preaching the gospel of cutting down on foreign trips. Is this a matter of the government, preaching water and drinking wine?