By Max Patrick Ocaido
Former Ethics minister Nsaba Buturo has warned U.S Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac to stop ‘poking her nose’ in Uganda’s affairs.
Buturo, Bufumbira East County MP says that Ambassador Malac has made it a habit to regularly interfere with affairs of the host nation-Uganda which contravenes the International Diplomatic standards.
The ex-minister was speaking at a press conference on Monday about the controversial Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill 2018, formerly called the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, 2012.
Buturo who is a strong antagonist of GMOs lauded President Yoweri Museveni for refusing to assent to the Bill for the second time and subsequently, attacked Malac for attempting to influence the promotion of GMOs and GMO Bill.
“It is wrong for Ambassador Malac to complain about the affairs of other countries. Other ambassadors are not talking, but this lady [Malac] wants to comment on everything in Uganda. She was upset because the President returned the GMO Bill but who is she to question the President’s decision? She should mind her own business and let Ugandans mind their business,” Nsaba Buturo said.
Buturo wants the government to bring Malac to book by reminding her about diplomatic etiquette, adding that he does not care if the U.S denies him a visa saying that “Uganda is the most beautiful country.”
“There is a certain way a diplomat must conduct themselves and one of the ways is that one should not interfere with operations of the host nation. Someone needs to bring her [Malac] to book because this nation must be respected,” he said.
In August 2019, President Museveni for the second declined to assent to the GMO Bill raising 12 issues that required improvement before he can sign it. As a result, Ambassador Malac took her frustration on social media and expressed dissatisfaction with the President’s decision. It is not the first time Malac has publicly aired out her opinion on Uganda’s social and political affairs. She recently shocked many when she proposed to meditate on the embattled love affair between singers Eddy Kenzo and Rema Namakula.
Kumi Municipality MP Silas Aogon is confident that this time around Parliament will not pass the GMO Bill which is set to be re-tabled for the third time.
“Last time this Bill was passed during difficult times of the Age limit Bill and many MPs were not in Parliament, but times have since changed and this time the bill will not pass because most MPs do not want it,” Aogon said.
“We need a total ban on GMOs because of its adverse effect on our land, health, trade and economy and our traditional and indigenous foods. There are people who are trying to take advantage of parliaments around the world to further their interests. You want to re-colonize Uganda using food?”
Currently, over 60 countries have banned GMOs including Kenya and Ghana.
“Uganda's comparative advantage is in organic foods. We are now being tempted to abandon and go for GMOs yet the world is looking for organic foods. The world is not willing to buy such foods so we must fight for a GMO-free nation,” Buturo added.