KAMPALA -Preparations for the upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Norendra Modi have suffered another setback after residents of Kololo and a city lawyer petitioned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indian High Commissioner in Uganda protesting the decision to host him at Kololo airstrip.
Modi will arrive in the country on Tuesday, July 24 and is to be hosted by President Museveni at State House Entebbe.He is then expected to meet the Indian community in Uganda at Kololo airstrip.
However, residents of Kololo IV village claim that hosting the visiting Prime Minister at the airstrip during working hours will inconvenience other businesses and residents of the area.
On his part, counsel Rogers Kamulegeya says Kololo airstrip does not fit the profile of a visiting head of state.
“It is a known fact that the Indian Prime Minister intends to visit Uganda in the near future and the proposed hosting venue for the said event will be at Kololo airstrip. However, it is our major complaint that the place is too open and lacks quality facilities such as toilets and kitchen facilities to host the coming dignitary,” his petition reads in part.
“We, therefore, take exception in the manner of selection of the said venue as we strongly believe that the process of selection was tainted with great irregularities and connivance,” the petitioner adds.
He explained that he and the group have come up with an alternative venue that matches with the status of the said dignitary visiting the country.
The India High Commissioner was not immediately available for a comment.
But preparations for Modi’s visit have exposed cracks in the Indian community in Uganda.
A total of 15 heads of the different Indian community associations on July 5 wrote to Mr Shankar, protesting the manner in which the High Commissioner elected the 10-man committee to welcome the Prime Minister. They say the committee is not representative enough of the community associations.
But following a meeting on Wednesday July 11, Mr Shankar agreed to co-opt some members of the associations to organising committee.