Uganda’s Government, through its diplomats and hired reputable public relations (PR) firms, has intensified its image cleaning and talks with several leaders who matter in the US, UK and the EU even as Bobi Wine’s protesters marched in London, the Capitol and in Netherlands.
On Friday, National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s supporters marched in Downing Street, Westminster in London, at the US Capitol building and Mercury Public Affairs office in Washington, as well as in the Netherlands.
They chanted Bobi Wine, NUP and People Power slogans, sang ‘Tuliyambala Engule’ and donned attire with the political group’s colors as well as waved national flags.
They called for aid cuts to Uganda, and insisted, without offering any proof, that Bobi Wine was the elected president of Uganda.
The US gives Uganda $970m in aid for development and security every year while the UK’s support is estimated at £150m, judging by the 2020 figure.
The protesters claimed the Museveni administration in Kampala had failed to account for this money and that most of the security budget had been diverted to persecute political opposition.
They further called on the international community to isolate Museveni, who is set to swear in for a sixth successive elective five-year term of office on May 12.
But Pearl Times News can now report that Uganda took a diplomatic path to defending itself against allegations raised by Bobi Wine and his NUP.
Diplomats have been working tirelessly to explain Uganda’s position on claims of human rights violations and alleged political opposition persecution to key MPs in the EU, officials of the EU Commission, the UK and the US.
Their efforts, sources from Uganda’s foreign affairs ministry say, explain why the EU and the US seem to have backed down on their push for sanctions, with vocal voices going silent.
That even the US which had slapped sanctions on unnamed officials is considering reversing this decision.
EU delegation to Uganda, the US Mission and British Council in Kampala have played a key role in mediating between Kampala and these key partners.
Junior foreign affairs minister in charge of international relations Henry Okello Oryem has confirmed, in an interview with local news agency URN, that there were indeed engagements between Kampala and US as well as UK MPs on matters of alleged human rights violations and persecution of political opposition.
Museveni’s government has also reportedly gone ahead to hire international PR firms to deal with bad press.
Part of this strategic communication plan will see top Government officials published in key newspapers and interviewed on television stations in the West.
This explains why Mercury Public Affairs Consulting’s office in Washington was a target of Bobi Wine’s protesters.
Kampala insists the protesters and their master Bobi Wine, reportedly backed by lobbyists, are telling lies to the West.