KAMPALA – A leaked closed WhatsApp group diplomatic row is dominating discussions on the social media platforms at the weekend after two of the country’s top diplomats went bare knuckles.
The country’s representative to the UN, Adonia Ayebare took strong exception to an assertion by colleague Ambassador Richard Kabonero of Dar es Salaam, after the latter suggested that he (Ayebare) was meddling in Rwanda affairs and even used strong language in the exchange.
Mr. Ayebare, retorted in equally strong language but reminded his colleague he was a special envoy to the President, on top of his New York mission duties.
President Museveni in July 2021 promoted Mr. Ayebare, one of the country’s smartest diplomats to become Special Uganda’s representative at the United Nations in New York, a top assignment.
“Good evening Collegues. Something has been troubling me for a while. we have all our missions of acccreditation. Mine is Dar and 6 other countries of accreditation. It is NOT proper for an Ambassador from whatever jurisdiction to come to my territory without informing ‘f kn envoy or not. Stay in your lane, ” Kabonero wrote in a veiled jabs to Ambassador Ayebare.
Mr. Ayebare who previously served as Senior Advisor, Peace and Security at the African Union Permanent Observer Mission at the United Nations in New York hit back, and told off Mr. Kabonero that:
“Richard I am special envoy of the President of Uganda, not “a f kn envoy “ like you refer to me. I expect you to at least respect the title,” he wrote.
“I will not dwell on terms of references and how I do my work. But I can assure you that I do it to the satisfaction of the appointing authority,” Mr. Ayebare who sits in New York wrote back in a rebuttal to Mr. Kabonero.
He added: “You talk about one staying in their lane. It is you who has strayed in a lane beyond your pay grade. Let me remind you that I became a Head of Mission in 2003 long before you, when you were in DC carrying VIP’s suitcases. I don’t enjoy this kind of pissing match you have provoked with a sole intent of attracting hate and ridicule from my esteemed colleagues on this forum. This is the last time you hear from me and stay in your lane”.
President Museveni last year skipped Mr. Kabonero and assigned Ayebare to broker Kampala and Rwanda strained diplomatic relations, a development that didn’t go well with Uganda’s Representative in Dar es Salaam and six other countries including Rwanda.
Citing the case of Rwanda, Mr. Kabonero insisted that Mr. Ayebare was undermining other diplomats by directing dealing with host countries without informing Uganda’s sitting representatives.
It is not clear how this row has been resolved but as it looks, only President Museveni can resolve the matter.