Members on the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs are angry at State House officials, who they accuse of blocking them from meeting the President Yoweri Museveni.
Yesterday, while meeting the Minister of State for International Affairs Okello Oryem, the committee chairperson Rose Mutonyi said they had several issues they wanted to discuss with the president concerning Foreign Missions, but have been failed by State House officials.
“We have tried to reach the president through State House to voice our findings on the pressing issues that are greatly affecting the foreign affairs, which for long are not attended to,” Mutonyi said.
One of the matters the MPs want to raise to the President concerns the country’s Shs49bn outstanding arrears to International Organizations.
Uganda’s annual subscription to the international due organizations is Shs20bn and government in this financial year only provided Shs9.1bn.
The committee is also concerned with the continued appointment of non-career diplomats as Ambassadors at the various Missions.
Members noted that only 6 out of 35 officials posted at the missions in Washington, Dar-es-salaam, Mombasa, Guangzhou and Abu Dhabi are career diplomats.
Mutonyi asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa, to prevail over State House and help the committee meet the president.
“You should contact Minister Sam Kuteesa for us, if he is the only one who can approach them; we write letters to State House and they are just thrown away. They never reach the president,” Mutonyi appealed to Minister Oryem.
Oryem however, advised the committee members to write a letter to the Minister Kuteesa asking him to schedule a meeting with the president since he is the head of the Ministry.
He also asked the Members of Parliament to engage the president on the appointment of non-career diplomats to head missions.
“The Ministry appreciates the concerns of the committee. However, the appointment of the head of missions is a prerogative of the president. In all my life serving in the Ministry since 2004, this is a matter that has continued to come up,” he said.