Cabinet Minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Hillary Onek has contradicted claims by his deputy Musa Ecweru regarding the transfer of 500 refugees from Israel to Uganda.
Musa Ecweru last week has told media that government has already considered a request by Israel to have the 500 Eritrean refugees sent to Uganda.
“And because of the good understanding between Uganda and Israel we have fraternal relations and Uganda said we have no objection to receive your request of 500 refugees from Israel,” Ecweru said.
“My ministry has positively considered their request,” Ecweru added.
However, while appearing before the Presidential affairs committee of parliament, Onek questioned Ecweru’s source of information.
“He did not tell me that (Uganda had accepted the request), I did not hear that statement from him (Ecweru), I am on hearing it now” Onek said.
Earlier, the charged Committee members tasked the minister if Uganda was the only country in the world to receive refugees despite the country’s refugee numbers shooting high.
“Is Uganda a dumping place for the refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and yet government on top of misappropriation of their funds, have left them move freely unnecessary all over the country and how are you going to scrutinise them to eliminate those with bad character,” Jessica Ababiku, the chairperson of the committee posed.
But Onek insisted; “We are not interested in receiving refugees in our country because we have enough but it is them who come because our country is peaceful, they are troubled but if you want to stop them, build a wall around our boundaries and parliament passes a law to bar them from entering Uganda.”
The contradicting statements from the two ministers prompted members to demand an official statement on the memorandum of understanding which was reached between Uganda and Israel on the Eritrea refugees coming to Uganda.
Earlier, committee members tasked the minister to table a refugee policy on the floor of parliament to check on their social, political economic status in the country after reports coming out alleges that some have started investing and owning properties in the country