Ugandans detained in China on drug related cases risk facing execution in line with Chinese laws after government efforts to have them deported back home hit a snug.
While appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament today, Hon Sam Kuteesa the Foreign Affairs Minister said that government is still negotiating to have Ugandans serve their sentences from home.
“We have appealed to China to have our citizens come and serve their sentences at home but the challenge is that they do not trust our judicial system,” Kuteesa said.
The Minister also told the committee that China treats drug trafficking as a serious offence, punishable by death and as thus, the authorities feared to let any convicts be taken out of the country.
Minister Kuteesa’s submission followed concerns raise by Mbale Municipality MP Jack Wamanga Wamai and Kawempe North’s Lateef Ssebaggala.
The lawmakers wanted him to explain government efforts in saving the convicted nationals from death. According to a 2016 report, Uganda has about 120 citizens in China’s prisons cells out and 73 are on death row.
Legislators questioned the Minister to explain the staffing gaps, both at the Ministry Headquarters in Kampala and Missions abroad.
However, Mr Kuteesa said that the Public Service Commission and not the ministry, is responsible staff recruitments.
“We only highlight the shortfalls we experience as the ministry and we leave the rest of the work to the Public Service]Commission,” said Kuteesa.
The budget allocation projections for the next financial year has increased to shs 31 billion compared to shs 30.9 billion in the current financial year.
The ministry intends to use the money to invest in commercial diplomacy, which according to Mr Kuteesa, “will entail a direct appeal to Foreign missions to court tourists and investors to come home.”
The Committee Members lauded the Minister for ensuring Gender and Equity Compliance both at the Headquarters and Uganda’s Missions abroad.