The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang has condemned an order by President Yoweri Museveni for an investigation into ivory trafficking by two suspected Chinese diplomats.
The president made the accusation in a letter on May 2 directing the chief prosecutor Irene Mulyagonja to investigate the case in which the diplomats, Li Wejin and Yinzhi allegedly connived with officials of the Uganda Wildlife Authority to illegally export ivory.
“There are no such diplomats here [at the embassy], I think all of this is groundless [and] based on some wrong [information]. It is all totally wrong; no one at the embassy is known by such names. I think he needs to check his sources of information,” the Chinese Ambassador told local media The Observer on Friday.
He added that they checked all their records and the names do not exist.
We are going to protest to the ministry of Foreign Affairs because [the investigation] concerns our diplomats. I think the ministry should restore our embassy's reputation.
“We are going to protest to the ministry of Foreign Affairs because [the investigation] concerns our diplomats. I think the ministry should restore our embassy’s reputation,” he said.
The probe follows allegations of theft of huge stocks of confiscated ivory from the Wildlife Authority over time since 2014 when 1,300 kilogrammes were stolen.
The suspected Chinese diplomats were also accused of engaging in illegal ivory trade in Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan as well as smuggling the ivory from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The investigation has commenced and it will include officials of the Wildlife Authority.