Minister of Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda has said his department is facing difficulty in selling Uganda’s tourism abroad amid the recent political upheaval in the country.
Speaking in light of the recent violence, particularly the Arua Municipality by-election, the minister sternly condemned the methods used by security forces to handle protesters, reporters and politicians, which included beatings and excessive brutality.
Kiwanda said images of people, including journalists being battered on the streets badly hurt the country’s image.
The minister was speaking Monday during the groundbreaking for the renovation of the Ankole kingdom palace in Kamukuzi, which used to be the residence of the Omugabe of Ankole.
The Omugabe residence was constructed in 1930s before Dr. Milton Obote abolished kingdoms in Uganda.
The renovation is expected to cost Shs 10billion and will be completed concluded in June 2021.
At the event, the minister said tourists can only come to a country when it is peaceful.
“Tourism is about peace; if the country is not peaceful we lose tourists. You go to Egypt today it was one of the countries that was progressing very well in tourism but when they had issues, a hotel which used go to go for $100 a room now goes for much less,” he said.
Hon. Kiwanda added that politicians should find ways of achieving their dreams during and after they have left office, rather than engaging the country in demos and riots.
“Whether you are in power, you want to leave power or you are in the middle of your tenure, do it rightly for the good of our country,” he said.
He added, “Remember there are many peaceful countries with beautiful sceneries where tourists can run to instead of coming to the chaotic and rioting Uganda.”