Kampala: Whether the United Nations Service Centre remains at Entebbe or moves to Kenya is now in the hands of the UN’s Fifth Committee—the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).
Addressing Parliament, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the president has already sent a petition of protest and its government’s hope that the committee will reconsider.
“Our voice will be heard, our voice will be respected and the UN service center will remain in Uganda at Entebbe, it is unfair for UN base to be relocated it to our Neighbor Kenya,” the Prime Minister said.
In April UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wrote a report to the committee after a review of 45 cities and he recommended for relocation of the base from Entebbe to either Nairobi, Mexico City, Kuala Lumpur, or Budapest.
The report will be debated and a decision taken by the Fifth committee sitting this month before going to the General Assembly plenary.
This afternoon, Lwemiyaga county MP Theodore Ssekikubo moved a motion imploring government to advocate for having the UN service base in Entebbe, saying it has contributed to financial advancement of this country through an estimated USD30 million revenue that is received every year.
Mr Ssekikubo said Uganda is taking part in peace missions all over Africa and urged to consider what Uganda is doing to foster peace.
“We should not let it go, Two weeks ago UN staff at Entebbe called me and told me about their fate, they want us to come in and roar our voices for this country to continue hosting UN base, in case it is relocated over 1000 Ugandans will be rendered unemployed,” he said.
He noted that UN staff use Ugandan hotels, eat Ugandan food and use Ugandan facilities, “We therefore need government to fight and retain this center,” he added.
Mbale Municipality MP Jack Wamanga Wamai said it is not too late for Uganda to lobby and have the base remain at Entebbe.
“We can talk to Kenya, to UN, we should put up a fight, we have done well with UNICEF, we are very peaceful, we have championed the emancipation of women, many UN officials are married to Ugandans, it would be so unfair,” he added.