EU Diplomat, Ridolfi Quizzed Over Museveni Attack


more about geneva;”>The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem on Friday morning held a meeting with EU Delegation Ambassador Roberto Ridolfi, who had been summoned to clarify the story attributed to him as published in a local newspaper of June 2012 under the headline “EU Diplomat attacks Museveni over graft.”

Amb Ridolfi was quoted as saying it was “a pity” that the State-of-the-Nation Address — a head of state’s most comprehensive accountability to citizens for government’s action and inactions over the previous year — was not as wide-ranging.

“It is a pity because the state-of-the-nation – [in] my personal view is that – should have covered two or three other items, Mr Ridolfi noted, “I think the people of Uganda were expecting references to this (Gen. David) Sejusa affair, the fight against corruption, which, as I repeat, can display some progress and the closure of the media (houses). These references could have been done positively.”

He added: “I think now that the PAC report is out, you will see another wave. So, let us try to link up the PAC report with the action of the civil society, with the action of the development partners. The most important thing which I tell my colleagues is that we shall not only make happy European taxpayers blocking the disbursement of money to a corrupt set up but we have also demonstrated to the Ugandan tax payers that their work is also to protect their money – by far the largest portion [to the national budget].”

The envoy was today assured that the statement as attributed to him was tantamount to undue interference in the internal affairs of Uganda and is unacceptable conduct of a diplomat accredited to Uganda and should be repealed.

Sources at Foreign Affairs Ministry say they assured the diplomat, well known for attacking Museveni at public functions, that they would tolerate any future remarks “of that type.”

The development signals government’s determination to deal strongly with diplomats fond of attacking government policies and the President.

It also comes hardly 24 hours when the President blasted donors’ “high handedness” by suspending aid over the shs50bn plunder of donor support funds in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Museveni said the cases from the Office of the Prime Minister, from the Ministry of Public Service and from the Ministry of Health that are now in court were detected by the NRM sympathizers and the Police.

“They were certainly not detected by the Auditor-General or anybody else. The NRM knows what to do and when to do it. Therefore, those Partners who cut off aid because we had discovered the corruption were not correct. It was a high-handed approach and could not be the correct way to fight corruption,” said the President.

He added: “Fighting corruption does not need public relations and publicity seeking actions. It needs the thorough going approach of the NRM. In spite of this “aid cuts” and other global economic problems, our economy grew by 5.1%, inflation was brought to 3.6% from 30% (2011) and the reserves stand at US$ 3.3 billion.”


In response, the EU Envoy apologized for the headline story but clarified that he had actually been quoted out of context and has since sent a press release to the Daily Monitor clarifying the matter, which has =not been published yet.

Ambassador Ridolfi was emphatic that EU remains committed to contributing to Uganda’s development and in this regard announced that EU had committed 31.5bn Euros under EDF to fund mainly transport infrastructure, rural development and agriculture among others, from which Uganda is expected to benefit beyond previous levels.


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