Four Ugandan officials/ MPs fell victim to armed robbers at OR Tambo International Airport. They had to return home empty-handed after armed men in South Africa waylaid, deceived them and three parliamentary staff on arrival for an official visit.
Reports confirm that those placed at gunpoint on Wednesday included Parliament’s Agriculture committee vice-chairman Mr Robert Ndugwa Migadde and other committee members; Ms Santa Sandra Alum, Mr Francis Barnabas Gonahasa and Kenneth Esiangu Eitunganane.
Other victims were senior parliamentary counsel Florence Aceng, Agriculture committee clerk Jacquiline Mutekanga, and Dr Moses Achong Ongom, the marketing officer for Kyankwanzi District.
The committee chairperson Christine-Doreen Lowila Oketayot flew into the country a day after the robbery and was booked at Emperors Palace Hotel in Alexander Township where her distressed colleagues had been forcibly relocated.
“The matter is sensitive, and I have referred it to Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Mugume,” Uganda’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Julius Peter Moto, said.
Some reports suggested that the MPs neither notified the Ugandan High Commission in Pretoria nor the parent Foreign Affairs ministry in Kampala of their trip. The lawmakers were headed to Durban, about 630 kilometres away, to visit the Amandla Fertilizer production facility and Parliament picked all their bills.
Other claims are that the lawmakers likely picked the guest house because accommodation there is relatively cheaper and would enable them to save money. South African authorities and Ugandan officials have started separate inquiries into the diplomatic incident.