New Ambassadors Urged To Protect Uganda’s Interests Abroad
By Our Reporter
Uganda’s new High Commissioners to different foreign missions have been urged to protect the country’s interests as they embark on their tour of duty.
The call was made on Saturday by Vincent Waiswa Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a thanksgiving ceremony for Uganda’s High Commissioner (designate) to South Africa Paul Amoru Omiat.
“Your core role is to protect Uganda’s interests in South Africa and also pay attention to issues affecting our people there above anything else.” Said Bagiire.
Amoru and other new Ambassadors were appointed by President Yoweri Museveni in December last year to head different Uganda’s missions abroad.
While giving his speech at Saturday’s event Amb. Amoru said his main focus will be on commercial and economic diplomacy as well as the welfare of Ugandans living in South Africa.
He expressed readiness to take on his new role. “I have been fortunate that for the first time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a caravan for the newly appointed ambassadors and the continuing ones where we went around the country and saw major investment infrastructures, installations and the opportunities that exist in different sectors because it’s practically impossible to represent a country that you don’t know much about. That exercise and the subsequent retreat that we had at National Leadership Institute Kyankwazi prepared me and my colleagues for our new assignments.” Said Amoru.
He added, “During the Joint Commission of Cooperation between Uganda and South Africa held recently in Kampala, I practically met every significant officer that I need to work within South Africa. Also during the meeting, officials from concerned ministries and technocrats were invited and presented in detail what their interests are in South Africa and what we need to do so together with the team in South Africa, we are ready to execute our mandate.”
Norah Bigirwa, the chairperson parliament’s committee on Foreign Affairs pledged continuous support most especially in appropriating funds needed to ensure that the commercial and commercial diplomacy in Pretoria is at the top. She requested the new ambassador to market Uganda in South Africa and also ensure that Ugandans there are taken care of.
The Uganda’s mission in South Africa covers five other countries including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and the Royal Kingdoms of Eswatini and Lesotho.
Meanwhile, Amb Amoru used the occasion to call for unity among Ugandans which was demonstrated by his ability to invite his political nemesis Moses Ogwal Goli, the Dokolo North legislator to whom he lost the seat in the 2021 general elections.
“As a good Christian, I felt obliged to support Hon Moses even when he is the one I had to hand over to. After I lost to him in the contest that was very close, I prayed for his success because his success is also success to our people. I’m so happy that today he’s here as a gesture of brotherhood and maturity in politics. I have made him feel comfortable that I genuinely wish him well and his presence here today also confirms that he’s comfortable with me too.” Said Amoru.
Earlier, in his remarks, MP Goli wished the ambassador all the best as he embarks on his tour of duty and extended an invitation to him to return and serve the constituency when he’s done.
The thanksgiving ceremony which was officiated by Betty Amongi, the Gender, Labour and Social Development Minister was also graced by several other dignitories including Denis Hamson Obua, the State Minister for Sports and Government Chief Whip designate, Ambassador Kintu Nyagu, the deputy head of mission South Africa, Emek Eker, the Honorary Consul to Antalya and Robbie Kakonge, Uganda’s Ambassador Designate to Washington DC.
Also present were MPs Arinaitwe Rwakajara (workers), Tony Ayo (Kwania County), Samuel Okwir (Moroto County), Jacinta Atuto (Kapelebyong Woman MP) and Patrick Nsambya (Pan African Parliament representative) members of Upendo Familiar Investment where the Ambassador serves as chairman, clergy and other invited guests.