KAMPALA: Members of Parliament have in Plenary Session on Wednesday May 9, afternoon made a passionate appeal for government to defend and retain the United Nations Base in Entebbe.
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga is chairing today’s Plenary, which started with the House being informed that there would be no Prime Minister’s question time to allow the different Sectoral committees present reports on the Ministerial Policy Statements and Budget estimates for FY 2018/2019.
On May 1, the UN Secretary General wrote to the UN Advisory Committee recommending that the UN should remove its base from Entebbe to Nairobi. Other recommended locations were the Hungarian capital, Budapest and Mexico City, the Mexican capital.
President Museveni wrote to Mr Guterres opposing the move saying it was unfair to pick Nairobi over Entebbe to host the world body’s regional service centre in Africa.
Today’s Parliament session is expected to pass a resolution formally protesting the decision by Mr Guterres.
Speaker Kadaga yesterday said Uganda has been “paying with blood” while contributing to military missions around the continent and argued that it is fair for the base to be retained at Entebbe.
“We need a serious debate on this matter. It is very serious for our country,” Ms Kadaga said yesterday.
Hon Annita Among in the Plenary has said the UN base at Entebbe brings in revenue to the country and as a result the base shouldn’t be closed.
“Its my humble plea that the government puts up a fight to save the UN base and have it remain in Uganda. It employs many Ugandans, we are fighting unemployment so we cannot have this happening,” the Bukedea woman MP said.
MP Theodore Sekikuubo asserted that the centre at Entebbe brings an estimated $30 million in the country annually.
Hon Silas Aogon said: “We have done well with UNICEF, we are very peaceful, we have championed the emancipation of women, many UN officials are married to Ugandans, it would be so unfair.”
Hon Tonny Ayoo has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen Uganda’s position among UN nations. He wants Uganda to improve its diplomatic engagements with other UN member states in order to enhance the negotiation capacity beyond the UN base.
PML Daily is carrying live feeds of the Plenary on all our platforms under the hash tag #PlenaryUg.