Uganda has been placed in the sanctions bracket by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) over failure to pay her financial obligations.
Uganda as a member of the Lusaka based free trade organization is expected to make annual contributions, but has not for the past two years.
As such, the country has been placed in the sanctions bracket since January 2020.
In a letter , COMESA Secretary General, Mrs Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe reminded Uganda’s Minister of Trade Hon Amelia Kyambadde that the country had fallen back on its assessed contributions, and was as such placed into the sanctions bracket.
This means that all of Uganda benefits and operations at COMESA have been suspended as well as her rights and privileges.
For instance, Uganda can no longer address Policy Organs meetings and her citizens cannot be recruited into the organization.
Uganda’s arrears according to Mrs Kapwepwe have grown to $4.2million since the country stopped making contributions in 2019.
“Kindly note, Honourable Minister, that the Republic of Uganda’s arrears which have taken the country into the sanctions bracket stand at COM$1,340,507 representing outstanding contributions inclusive of interest for the financial years 2019 and prior years,” she wrote.
“May I also take this opportunity to urge your kind office to consider positively our invoices relating to the contributions for the year 2020 and 2021 amounting to COM$2,400,327 as they are adversely affecting the operations of the organization. In addition to these amounts, Uganda also owes the COMESA Court of Justice COM$481,980 and COMESA /Activate Windows Leather and Leather Products Institute COM$389,081.”
Our efforts to reach Minister Kyambadde for comments were fruitless as her mobile numbers were off.