By Nangayi Guyson – KAMPALA (31-03-2011) –Ugandan President Museveni last night denied reports that his government was ready to offer Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi asylum if it was requested and described such reports as “utter rubbish.”
This comes after Wednesday’s Al Arabiya news, Al Jazeera TV channel, and other media reports that the Ugandan government was willing to offer Muammar Gaddafi asylum if he requests for it.
The Uganda’s daily monitor newspaper reported on Thursday that it had contacted the President through his Principal Private Secretary, Ms Grace Akello and she denied quoting Mr Museveni saying that,“That is a totally unfounded rumour, it is utter rubbish.”
The media reported Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s spokesman as having said, Uganda would allow Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to live there in exile because other Uganda’s own citizens sought refuge in neighboring countries during the rule of Idi Amin
But when the news reached Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi, he separately refuted the report, saying he advised a reporter who contacted him by telephone to approach Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa.
“That story is Western propaganda and a hoax. I cannot speak on Uganda’s foreign policy matters and that is why I referred the journalist to the responsible ministry,” he said.
To say that Mr Museveni, who has openly opposed military attacks on Libya has now accepted to host Gaddafi, if the latter chose to flee, would mean the President considers his Libyan counterpart a defeated man, said Mr Tamale.
“Some of these Western media outlets have their own motives. How can you offer to bury someone on your plot when that person is not yet dead?”
State House expressed these sentiments as it emerged that resurgent pro-Gaddafi forces had re-captured from rebels the strategic Ras Lanuf, one of key towns to the east of the country, just days after the government forces hastily retreated when allied forces bombed them. Recently, President Museveni wrote an article in the local press, saying the decision by France, the UK and the US to launch airstrikes on Col. Gaddafi’s forces lacked “impeachable logic” and was reminiscent of “double standards”.
While criticising Col. Gaddafi for a number of personal errors of judgment, Mr Museveni maintained that Libya’s problems should be resolved through Africa-pioneered dialogue. These differences of opinion led the African Union’s High-Level Ad hoc Committee, of which Uganda is a member, to boycott Tuesday’s summit the West organized in London to chart a future for Libya without Gaddafi Who has ruled for 42 years.