Museveni says no asylum for Gaddafi
President Yoweri Museveni Wednesday night described as “utter rubbish” reports that Uganda had secretly offered asylum to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The local Daily Monitor contacted the President through his Principal Private Secretary, Ms Grace Akello, after international media outlets, among them Al Jazeera TV channel, ran news of the alleged refuge.
“That is a totally unfounded rumour, it is utter rubbish,” Ms Akello said, quoting President Museveni.
Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi, cited as the source of the disputed story, 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.
About a fortnight ago, President Museveni wrote an article that was widely circulated, 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, President 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 organised in London to chart a future for Libya without Gaddafi. He has ruled for 42 years.