The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Mugoya has said that the government will not evacuate Ugandans who are stranded abroad despite the ongoing registration.
Last week the different Ugandan embassies started the process of registering Ugandans stranded due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) with emphasis on Ugandans who were planning to travel and were disrupted by the lockdown because of the virus.
However, Mugoya has reiterated that registration of Ugandans abroad is simply aimed at getting statistics and data of Ugandans abroad for planning purposes.
He says there is no communication to the effect about any possible evacuation or even support. Mugoya says he has been receiving calls from different people about evacuation.
“The registration is for us to get information. No body has said that Ugandans will be evacuated,” said Mugoya in an interview with Uganda Radio Network (URN). He added that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni made it clear that Ugandans who are abroad should stay where they are for now.
He says they are collecting data which will help Government to make informed decisions, but not to evacuate Ugandans.
Mugoya says the exercise is going on well and all embassies abroad have started on it, and some have already concluded. He says by end of the week, they will have information from all missions abroad which is very necessary, even without a crisis.
He said the decision makers can make decisions from an informed point of view, we know many of the Ugandans don’t register when they go abroad and yet this is very important. “That will help our decision makers to see if and how to deal with those who have specific problems,” added Mugoya.
The registration does not target Ugandans who have a settled status. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, several countries especially in Europe and the Americas have evacuated their citizens, while others have asked their people to stay.
Although there are several Ugandans abroad, the actual statistics about the numbers is lacking.