Government Questioned Over AU Candidate Support
Government is on the spot over reluctance to allocate money for campaigns of a Ugandan eyeing a position on the African Union Commission. Government is fronting Dr. Warren Namara as the country’s candidate to run for the position of African Union Commissioner of Social Affairs.
The position is among those being vied for ahead of the elections to be held during the 28th African Union summit slated to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January next year.
During the plenary sitting at Parliament on November 24, 2016, chaired by Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, the Rakai Woman MP, Juliet Kinyamatama raised the matter, revealing that during a trip in Addis Ababa of the committee on Foreign Affairs last week, they met officials from the Uganda Mission, who revealed that there is no budget to campaign for Dr. Namara for the position.
Kinyamatama said the reports from the mission indicated that while other candidates are already campaigning, Uganda’s candidate has been left in the cold.
“We really badly need this position because we lost out on Dr. Specioza Kazibwe, who was vying for the AU Commission chairperson. This is the only position we have as Uganda. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should come up with a budget and we campaign in time,” the Rakai Woman MP pleaded.
She was supported by other legislators who questioned government’s reluctance to release funds for the campaigns.
Bukonzo West MP, Atkins Katusabe, who doubles as Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs tasked government to mobilise resources to win the position so that Uganda can be represented on the commission.
Betty Aol, Gulu Woman MP, tasked government to reveal the process undertaken to select the candidate, given that since Dr. Kazibwe was fronted for the AUC chairpersonship position, it has not been clear which criteria was used.
While responding to the concerns, government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa assured the MPs that the ministry is already lobbying other African countries to back Uganda’s candidate.