The scheduled summit of the African Union is due to take place in June this year in Kampala, but has now been cast in doubt over allegations that the country is not paid up, mainly due to sections of parliament withholding approval for the release of funds, while still investigating the CHOGM expenditures dating back to that summit in November 2007.
A source within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs put it bluntly to this correspondent: “Those MPs want to embarrass us. Holding back the membership dues for the AU is childish. Holding government at ransom because of their CHOGM investigation is also not fair. They knew we were to host the AU this year. This can well be an opposition plot to portray our government in a bad light because elections are due in a year, so is this just a cheap campaign trick? But not to worry, the summit will go ahead if they like it or not, and Kampala will be in the global spotlight for the duration again, promoting the country as a tourist destination beyond the summit. Even CHOGM had a lot of benefits for tourism by highlighting our natural wonders, so why spoil this unless with an ulterior motive.”
If true, adds this correspondent, shame on those responsible for trying to use their political agendas to damage our country’s reputation on the continent and further abroad.