Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 20 acres of land have been appropriated to the government of India to construct a Mahatma Gandhi centre in Entebbe and a cultural center in Jinja city.
Speaking to journalists in Kampala following his meeting with Shri Muraleedharan, the Indian State Minister for External and Parliamentary Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs said that 15 acres of land have been identified in Entebbe while five acres have been identified in Jinja.
When asked about the amount of money that will be invested in the two projects, Oryem wouldn’t state a figure although he said it will be a lot.
“I don’t know how much money they are putting in but if you google the Mahatma Gandhi Centre which they constructed in Niger, it is two times the size of our Serena International Conference Centre, Oryem said. “It will also come with a hotel which will serve as the conference center. We delayed in giving them the land, if we had, the centre would be up and running.”
For his part, Muraleedharan praised the good relations that India has had with Uganda over the years. He said his visit to the country today is a follow up on the earlier visit in 2018 by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He added that he wants to ensure that what was discussed with President Museveni is actualized.
Meanwhile, Oryem vehemently denied that Uganda has anything to do with the M23 rebels who last week resumed attacks in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. Contrary to accusations by the government of Rwanda that Uganda was behind the M23, Oryem said Uganda is also interested in a stable DRC, therefore, it cannot harbor rebel camps.
Oryem added that the only people who have attachment to M23 rebels living in Uganda are those who applied for refugee status. He however warned anybody who is in Uganda as a refugee not to try to destabilize the country or its neighbors.
“Anybody who threatens the security of our country will pay the price of causing insecurity,” Oryem said. “Let me make it very clear, if you threaten the security of this country, the government of Uganda and its armed forces will not spare you. If you are here as a refugee, please accept our hospitality. Uganda is sacrificing so much for you to be here as a refugee. If you abuse our hospitality and start causing insecurity to us when you flee the camp, we cannot spare you, you are an enemy to the people of Uganda. You are a terrorist, the UPDF will hit you hard so that Ugandans can live in peace.”