WHY MUSEVENI WILL SOON RESHUFFLE AMBASSADORS
By Mulengera Reporters
There is a lot of anxiety among political appointees and more so those serving as Presidential Appointees to head missions and embassies abroad. The anxiety is understandable because it’s that time of the new term of government when some shakeup must happen. And in the instant case, the same shakeup is perceived by many observers as long overdue.
This is so because a number of critically important missions are actually empty without substantive heads and yet in diplomacy, representatives of other partner states feel insulted when condemned or exposed to a situation of having to inevitably deal with people who are too junior. Its prudent practice for one to deal with their equals or else seasoned diplomats will avoid any dealings until the country in question makes the appropriate appointments and postings of people who are senior enough in rank and assignment.
Examples of missions where gaps and leadership vacuum currently exist include South Africa whose head Barbra Nekesa was recently appointed treasurer general for the NRM party. Beijing/China, important as it is, remains vacant too following the mid last year decision by Chrispus Kiyonga to resign to reclaim his job as one of the MPs from Kasese. The deputy Ambassador slot too is vacant because UPC defector Henry Mayega, who used to deputize Mzee Kiyonga, was transferred to UAE. Currently it’s being manned by technical officers without the ambassador-level leadership and this is diminishing the seriousness with which China perceives us as a country.
Yet that isn’t all. Nairobi, which is always boosted by our consulate at Mombasa, is equally in turmoil following the resignation of Phoebe Otaala who quit for politics too. The highly intelligent Nathan Ndoboli, who deputized her, is no more having retired after clocking 60. There was effort by Kampala to occasion some succession with Hassan Galiwango replacing her but the transition became complicated when Otaala made a U-turn frustrating everything including claiming she never resigned. That her supposed resignation letter was forged by people inside the MoFA headquarters in Kampala.
In fact, Hassan Galiwango has lived very sad life in Kenyatta land including having to sleep in cheap hotels as he has nowhere to stay. The GoU posh residence in the upscale Lovington neighborhood which is supposed to be the Ambassador’s residence can currently not be accessed because Otaala’s personal belongings are still there as the very forceful Jap politician continues hoping she could be reinstated someday.
It remains locked and Galiwango can thus not have any access. Imagine all that diplomatic shame; Kenyans must be laughing at us given all this chaos which even Parliament can’t inquire into. Dr. Galiwango these days lives in a slightly better house (compared to the lousy bu-hotels he used to sleep in) which the cash-strapped MoFA rents for him as they wait for the case Otaala filed against government, seeking to get back her job, to be concluded. Ironically, the veteran politician who claims not to have resigned received her last payment (of $8,000) and all the pending financial claims as she was signing out to go stand against Tororo Woman MP Sarah Opendi. Let’s not say much lest we breach the subjudice rule since the matter is in court.
Paris, which is a very important Mission because France is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, equally remains vacant following the recent resignation of Richard Nduhura. That is another lucrative deployment Gen Museveni will be effecting real soon (some sources say most likely this very week). Renowned for using such jobs to strengthen his politics, Gen Museveni will actually be having a minimum of 64 appointments to make in that instrument (including 36 Ambassadors/Heads of Mission &their deputies). Another equally important Mission that remains vacant is Geneva which has remained vacant since the death last year of Amb Epaul Onyang.
As all this waiting goes on, there is heightened lobbying for lucrative or juicy Missions like Otawa/Canada where a few vacancies exist too including the job of Deputy Ambassador. Otawa is critically important because its head must multi-task to take care of other countries like Cuba too because Havana remains one area where Uganda has no embassy (it was there but was among those the GoU closed when it became broke at a time Eria Kategaya was Min of Foreign Affairs). Gratefully, efforts are on to open one and Gen Museveni could name a new Ambassador there in order to try and blackmail (pulling aerial of) the Western powers whose indifference he has lately been complaining about.
It’s also possible Gen Museveni could reopen embassies in some of the countries where the same was halted during the Kategaya days as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Imagine the whole of Caribbean and much of South America is being overseen by Uganda’s Ambassador to Washington who in total oversees 15 other countries. Gen Museveni could decongest all that by creating new Ambassador offices and jobs in the upcoming diplomatic shakeup of the diplomats representing our beautiful country abroad. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).