Week in review: Museveni returns to Dubai to woo investors, bans travel for government officials; Ugandan security on high alert after DR Congo border bomb blast

Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Sunday morning departed for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a three-day official visit. The President held talks with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi. He also attended the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Summit and held talks with government officials and the business community from the UAE, according to a statement from the Presidential Press Unit. President Museveni was last in the UAE in October 2021 when he attended the prestigious Dubai Expo. During his last visit, Mr Museveni positioned Uganda as the right and best place for Investment. He argued that Uganda is profitable with a rich market for any kind of business adding that everything can be produced in Uganda.

Meanwhile Mr Museveni has placed a blanket ban on travel abroad by members of Parliament and civil servants to save money for other priority sectors. While commissioning facilities last Saturday at Uganda Petroleum Institute-Kigumba (UPIK), a training facility for oil exploration, Mr Museveni said he was unhappy to learn that the institute was incomplete due to a lack of funds. “Tell the civil servants, the MPs and all politicians to stop travelling abroad. Money is wasted on external travel and here Kigumba is crying for money. This is really poor planning,” the President said. Uganda is expected to begin commercial oil production in 2025, with China considered to be one of the major funders among other oil companies. According to the President, even before the oil starts flowing, the oil companies are going to invest $15 billion in Uganda and out of that, 40 percent will remain in the country.

He complained about the Ministry of Education that says the country lacks Ugx 8 billion per year ($2 million) to invest in the sector, in order to earn $7 billion from the oil sector. He reiterated that this was not lack of money, but lack of planning by the Ministry of Planning.

Uganda’s Security forces are on high alert at the Mpondwe border post in Kasese District following a bomb blast on Sunday in the neighbouring DR Congo that claimed several lives.

The blast, which occurred at a church in Kisindi Town, about three kilometres from the Uganda border, has been attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels by the Congolese authorities.

The Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Lt (Rtd) Joe Walusimbi, yesterday said Ugandan security forces are on standby to counter any infiltration of rebels from DRC. “Our soldiers at the border are on standby class one, we are ably manning all our border points; we are on ground because our operations are intelligence-led. Our people should not panic because the situation is under control,” he said. Lt Walusimbi also encouraged the people crossing the border between the two countries to use the immigration offices so that they are provided with the necessary travel documents for security purposes.

The death toll from the bombing has reached 16 while the injured were 76 according to the UPDF.

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