February 29, 2024

Zaake is in Turkey for parliamentary duties, not Lumbuye, says govt

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Zaake (3rd on the left front row) with other Ugandan MPs and Turkish government officials

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said Mityana Municipality MP also commissioned of Parliament, Francis Zaake travelled to Turkey as part of his parliamentary duties and not to stop the extradition of blogger and Ugandan government critic, Fred Kajubi Lumbuye.

Zaake earlier this week posted photos of himself at Entebbe Airport and said he was flying to Turkey to help in the release of Lumbuye.

However, in a statement released on Saturday through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ugandan Embassy in Ankara said Zaake as a commission of parliament is part of a team of Ugandan legislators who are in Turkey on a benchmarking trip.

“The Embassy would like to clarify that Hon. Francis Zaake travelled to Turkey as part of a Delegation of Parliamentary Commissioners and other members of Parliament on Official Government business to undertake a benchmarking visit at the request of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda. The visit is being coordinated by the Ugandan Embassy in Ankara with the relevant authorities of the Republic of Turkey,” the statement said.

According to the Ugandan Embassy in Turkey, Zaake arrived together with other MPs on August,5 and is scheduled to meet with different managements of Atlas University Hospital, MedicalPark Hospital and Liv Hospital in Istanbul to discuss mechanisms of cooperation between these hospitals and Parliament.

“Media reports alleging that the honorable Member of Parliament travelled to Turkey for any other purposes other than official Government business are misleading and should be disregarded.”

However, the statement didn’t explain whether on the sidelines of the benchmarking trip, Zaake or any other MP can’t be allowed to engage in any other business, including visiting Ugandans staying in Turkey.

The development comes on the back of reports that indicated that Lumbuye, whom the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said was to be deported and was to arrive at Entebbe Airport at 3 am on Saturday, was nowhere to be seen.

Despite insisting that the motor-mouthed blogger would be landing at Entebbe on Saturday, government has since remained tight-lipped on his whereabouts.


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