Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to elucidate the circumstances surrounding Uganda’s decision to dispatch a 71-member team to the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York. The move has stirred diplomatic concerns for the nation.
On Thursday, Gen. Jeje Odongo, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, is scheduled to appear before Parliament to provide a comprehensive report on the alleged oversized delegation representing Uganda at the Assembly. The Deputy Speaker has also advised restraint, discouraging public disputes from Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Minister for General Duties Justine Kasule Lumumba.
Muwada Nkunyingi, MP for Kyadondo East, highlighted that only 10 out of the 71-member delegation were accredited, with the remaining 61 attending as advisors. Concerns were raised about the authorization process and the purpose of each member’s presence, particularly the accreditation of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem’s wife, who holds no official government position.
The government’s decision to send parallel delegations has sparked outrage, with critics accusing it of financial irresponsibility. Public concerns focus on the substantial expenditure on the 70-plus officials. Questions also arise regarding Vice President Jessica Alupo and Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja attending the same event, given recent information about financial constraints and the need for budget cuts.
During a National Resistance Movement (NRM) Caucus meeting, President Museveni called on Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Vice President Jessica Alupo to explain the large delegation. The President, known for his stance against corruption and wastage, faced criticism for the excessive government expenditure on the UN General Assembly trip.
On August 29, Gen. Jeje Odongo appointed Vice President Jessica Alupo as the head of Uganda’s 51-member delegation, focusing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and global issues. However, another 20-member delegation led by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja was present, raising questions about the coordination and necessity of such a large representation.