The visit of Indian Prime Minister Norendra Modi to Uganda scheduled for July24, 2018 has been marred by scandals.
Modi, who will be hosted by President Yoweri Museveni, is expected to meet the Indian community in Uganda at Kololo airstrip. He will fly in the country with a delegation of businessmen and potential investors.
The latest setback in Modi’s visit is that residents of Kololo and a city lawyer have petitioned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indian High Commissioner in Uganda protesting the decision to host him at Kololo airstrip.
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. They add that the costs have been exaggerated.
Lawyer Rogers Kamulegeya of Kamulegeya Kamahoro Advocates says Kololo airstrip does not fit the profile of a visiting head of state.
“… it is our major complaint that the place (Kololo airstrip) is too open and lacks quality facilities such as toilets and kitchen facilities to host the coming dignitary,” Kamulegeya’s petition to Foreign Affairs Ministry reads in part.
It adds: “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.”
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.
It should be noted that Indian Community in Uganda has been divided over the PM’s visit to Uganda. A few weeks ago, a section of Indians living in Uganda accused the Indian High Commissioner to Uganda Ravi Shankar of conniving with Former Rubaga North MP Singh Katongole to allegedly swindle billions raised by the community towards organising the highly billed event.
Further, a total of 15 heads of the different Indian community associations on July 5 wrote to 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.
However, a meeting was held on July 11 in which Shankar agreed to co-opt some members of the associations to organising committee. There are over 40,000 Indians living in Uganda. Bi-lateral ties between Uganda and India have grown overtime.