Ministry of Foreign Affairs has disclosed to legislators sitting in the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament that they may have to close the Ugandan consulate in Dubai and replace it with a liaison office.
The officials led by the State Minister for Regional Affairs John Mulimba together with the Permanent Secretary Vincent Bagiire were in the house to breakdown their ministry’s budget for 2023/24.
The officials revealed that since the Dubai consulate had not been given a vote in the budget, they are considering closing it and opening a liaison office instead.
Shocked legislators opposed the idea. They pointed out that hundreds of Ugandans who live and work in Saudi Arabia rely on the consulate. Thousands more who travel between Uganda and Dubai also use its service.
The foreign affairs team also informed the committee that Uganda’s delayed subscription payments for international organisations like IGAD, African Union, United Nations among others is ruining the country’s credibility. They said that this failure directly affects the chances of Ugandan nationals who compete for position in these organisations.
Uganda currently owes at least shillings 34.6 billion in arrears to these organisations.
The officials also suggested that all government agencies and ministries should involve the foreign affairs ministry before signing documents that partner Uganda with another nation. They said this is the best way to prevent entering agreements that compromise the country’s integrity.
Legislators tasked the foreign affairs ministry to explain how far it has gone with demarcation of Ugandan borders with the neighbouring countries.