The United States Embassy in Kampala has said matters about travel bans aginst top government officials are apart of its laws under which general denial of visas falls.
Therefore, they said, details on whether there’s a list of top government officials to be denied visas to Uncle Sam’s country can not be divulged to the public.
The comments came after EagleOnline inquired as to whether the recent denial of visas to two top government officials was politically motivated and whether there are more to fall victim.
“Under the United States law, all visa applications are confidential and therefore I can’t discuss anything to do with that,” Mr Chris Brown, the embassy information officer told EagleOnline in a phone interview.
Asked whether local media reports that the former Deputy Commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), Col Sabiiti Muzeyi had been denied a visa are true, Brown stood his ground. “That is all confidential,” he said.
Earlier today reports emerged that the US mission in Kampala had denied Col Muzeyi and some other top government officials visas to travel to the US.
Relations between the US and Uganda have hit a low, following the February 2016 elections, which the leading opposition candidates Dr Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Go Forward’s John Patrick Amama Mbabazi claim were rigged in favour of incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.
Since then there have been ferocious tirades traded by Uganda government officials, some aimed at new US Ambassador to Ms Deborah Malac.
Meanwhile, on April 15 last year, EagleOnline reported that the American government had banned senior Ugandan army officers including a brigadier from travelling to America, or participating in American military activities, for alleged human rights abuses.
Most of those military officers who were reportedly blacklisted have previously or are currently working with military intelligence, which has in the past been accused of running illegal safe houses, reportedly used to torture civilians.
And at that time, the US Embassy Spokesperson Daniel Travis told EagleOnline that recipients of US aid or those intending to travel to the country must confer to their laws.
Daniel Travis’ full response:
“Consistent with US Law and policy, all US embassies vet assistance to foreign security agencies, as well as certain Department of Defence training programmes to ensure that recipients have not committed gross human rights abuses. We do not provide assistance to individuals or units where the vetting process uncovers credible information of human rights violations. If that assistance requires to the United States, individuals and units that have committed gross violations of human rights abuses, are not eligible for travel. As a matter of policy, we do not comment on whether or not individuals from any given country are eligible for such programmes.”