Uganda Can’t Afford Evacuation of Nationals Stuck Overseas — Minister
Uganda may not collect its nationals trapped abroad due to coronavirus, State Foreign Minister Henry Oryem said, emphasizing that the process is very daunting and costly.
Oryem says if the country is to evacuate nationals, the only available option is chartering flights, which is way above what they can afford despite the political will of the government of veteran leader Yoweri Museveni.
Last month, Museveni critic, singer-cum-opposition bigwig Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine had offered to fly in about 300 Ugandans stuck in China where some have been subjected to racial discrimination, but the government rejected the offer.
The ministry of Foreign Affairs insisted that the responsibility of taking care of Ugandans abroad is for government and not individuals.
Oryem says Ugandans are scattered in various parts of the world citing three people who were registered in Vietnam and another two who were registered in Chile.
A concrete plan is being worked out before deciding on the way forward, he said, adding that there shall be no more return of Ugandans abroad without a clear plan from the government.
Last week, the Foreign Ministry was on spot for clearing the entry of 13 travelers attached to a wealthy businessman aboard Ethiopian Airlines despite the fact that Uganda closed its airports to commercial flights.
Countries like Egypt, Kenya and Rwanda have managed to evacuate their nationals.