Summer Woes For Uganda Diplomat

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International News

July has been a rough month for Uganda’s top U.K. diplomat, High Commissioner Joan Rwabyomere.

First what appears to be her signature is found on a forged document submitted in a U.K. case involving her boss, President Yoweri K. Museveni--Now a former High Commission employee has stepped forward saying the ambassador unilaterally ended a three-year employment contract with her, driving her into poverty.

Evelyn Karamagi, a former marketing executive with a prestigious Uganda hotel in Kampala, says she left her job in the East African country for a position in the country's High Commission, the equivalence of an embassy, in London. She was fired after working only six months and she’s now destitute and homeless in London, she says. Karamagi says she sold all her belongings to finance her travel to the U.K. on the basis of the employment contract.

Were it not for a Good Samaritan, Peter Zirintuma, she would be on the streets, Karamagi
says. “Everyday her situation is becoming bad and bad,” laments her temporary host, Zirintuma.

Poverty and homelessness has brought on depression, adds Karamagi, who is also a diabetic. She says she was fired soon after she had gone to hospital without the High Commissioner’s permission.

“It was purely unfair to dismiss me because, I went to the hospital to seek medical treatment due to my diabetic conditions,” Karamagi tells this reporter, in a teary-eyes interview. Yet, she contends, the real reason she may have been kicked out was because of her boss’s unfounded suspicions.

The High Commissioner had asked her about whether she had been meeting with dissidents living abroad, including Col. Samson Mande and Maj. Anthony Kyakabale, former Uganda army officers. “I maintained that I don’t know what she was talking about,” she adds.

Karamagi has consulted with an attorney to pursue her case; she’s yet to determine from  Uganda’s foreign ministry whether Rwabyomere was authorized to dismiss her. Numerous calls by The Black Star throughout the week to get comments from High Commissioner Rwabyomere bore no fruit.

Asked about Karamagi’s plight, a High Commission spokesperson who asked that his name not be used says he hadn’t been in London long enough: “I am learning about the issue for the first time—I have never heard of that name.”

Perhaps August will be a better month. Recently, it was revealed that one of the papers President Museveni’s lawyers used to ask a U.K court to vacate a $31 million civil case judgment against him was what appears to be a forged document bearing Rwabyomere’s signature.

Miwambo reports for The Black Star from London.


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