The Indian High Commissioner to Uganda Ravi Shankar has bowed to pressure and expanded the list of Core Committee members by adding six more others.
The committee is preparing to welcome India’s Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi.
The first list had just over 10 members mainly drawn from the Indian Association. The list now has 21 members. Those opposed to the first list contested that it did not include other Indian associations and bodies in Uganda. Also cited was corruption due to non accountability of collected funds previously by the said association leadership.
Other representatives on the earlier list came from associations like; Lohana Community and North Gujarat Association.
Those who have been included are; Jitu Sorathiya, Paresh Mehta, Sanjay Adhiya, Nareshbhai Patel, Daxesh Patel and Raju Hirani.
Mr Shankar confirmed the six new names in a letter of July 11, 2018. “In continuation of my earlier message of June 20 2018 on the above subject, it has been decided that the following six members will be co-opted in the Core-Committed with immediate effect,” he wrote.
Those who had opposed to the first committee said some of the members wanted to use Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Uganda to gain personal business deals at the expense of others. They said that the committee had not exhibited any transparency so far. They complained to the High Commissioner through a letter on July 5.
“We the undersigned heads/office bearers of various communities strongly protest and express a great sense of dissatisfaction in the manner in which the core committee was nominated by your good offices, despite discussions and agreement of Mr. Vijay Chauthaivale that is at least 20 leaders from various communities, associations and bodies be nominated,” the letter read in part.
Some of the complainants said then that Shankar was silently dealing with Singh Katongole, Pradeep Karia, a Director of Property Services to deny those opposed to his way of doing things an opportunity to interface with.
Modi will visit Uganda in the last week of July. His visit is expected to improve relations between Uganda and India in areas such as tourism, agriculture, business and health.