Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said he loves the United States President Donald Trump who was recently reported to have referred to Africa countries as “shithole”.
Addressing members of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) at its opening in Kampala on Tuesday, Mr Museveni said the US president was frank.
“I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly. I don’t know whether he’s misquoted or whatever. He talks to Africans frankly,” he said.
He said Africans need to solve their own problems through integration.
“You can’t survive if you are weak. It is the Africans’ fault that they are weak… that’s why we need East African integration.
“We are 12 times the size of India, but why are we not strong?” He posed.
The East African Community has six member states — Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. Somalia is also seeking admission to the bloc.
Meanwhile, earlier Tuesday, the US ambassador to Uganda Ms Deborah Malac apologised over Mr Trump’s comments terming them insensitive.
“For people like me and many of my colleagues who have spent many years working in Africa, we have many relationships and friendships across the continent, [the comments] are obviously quite disturbing and upsetting…” Ms Malac told Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
“…I can assure you that we remain engaged and committed to working not just in Uganda but in all the other countries that we work with on the continent and our programmes continue,” she added.
Ms Malac was responding to Ms Kadaga’s query about the comments attributed to Mr Trump.
President Trump, in a meeting with US lawmakers on January 18 is reported to have dismissed Haiti, El Salvador and Africa as “shithole countries” whose inhabitants are not desirable to immigrate to America. But Mr Trump later denied using the derogatory term saying that he only used “tough language”.
His remarks were criticised across the world with many African nations calling for his apology.
Uganda’s neighbour Kenya said it had no problem with Mr Trump’s comments since he did not necessarily direct them at the country.
The regional assembly began its plenary session in Kampala this week amid division over the election of the Speaker with Burundi refusing to recognise Rwanda’s Martin Ngoga as the new Speaker.
“In a nutshell, integration is about the future of our people,” Mr Museveni told the MPs, adding that “It’s not about positions. When I hear you quarrel about positions, I feel sorry.”