By Mike Ssegawa
Former defence minister Chrispus Kiyonga has finally taken up his position as Uganda’s top diplomat in Beijing, China. This ends earlier speculation that Mr Kiyonga has declined taking up the post.
Dr Kiyonga presented his credentials to President Xi Jinping on 13th September 2017 as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uganda to the People’s Republic of China.
A statement from the ministry of Foreign Affairs says during the ceremony that took place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, President Xi Jinping welcomed Amb. Kiyonga to China and conveyed sincere greetings to President Yoweri Museveni.
He noted that the relationship between the two countries has grown from strength to strength and will continue to make further progress with the contribution of Amb. Kiyonga.
Kiyonga who lost his parliamentary seat in the 2011 elections was appointed to China as a diplomatic, raising the profile of China as Uganda’s top ally, giving the stature of the person appointed in its capital. Kiyonga retains his position as ambassador at the level of a cabinet minister.
The foreign affairs ministry statement says President Xi Jinping acknowledged that the appointment of Amb. Kiyonga who is a senior and experienced person which demonstrated the importance President Museveni and the Government of Uganda attach to the relationship with China.
The President pledged that his Government would give Amb. Kiyonga every help to ensure success of his mission.
Amb. Kiyonga conveyed warm greetings from President Yoweri Museveni. He spoke positively of the bilateral relations, adding that Uganda had benefited from the partnership with China. Kiyonga indicated that the infrastructure of Uganda was modernizing quite fast with financial assistance from China.
Amb. Kiyonga expressed the desire of Uganda to advance the relationship between the two countries to a strategic level as well as linking FOCAC (Forum for China Africa Cooperation) plans to the national development plans and vision 2040 of Uganda. President Xi Jinping welcomed efforts that build on existing China-Africa cooperation to deliver more benefits and boost bilateral ties.
Amb. Kiyonga arrived in Beijing, China on 20th August 2017 to assume his duties as Head of Mission. He was accompanied at the ceremony by his spouse, Mrs. Alice Kiyonga. Other Uganda Embassy officials at the ceremony included Mr. Nelson Kasigaire, First Secretary and Ms. Laura Kahuga, Third Secretary at the Embassy of Uganda.