At the height of political campaigns, government took to recruiting some activists and public figures linked to opposition into its ranks.
Among the beneficiaries was Eddy Kenzo initially a mobiliser of the People Power Movement headed by Bobi Wine. For cutting ties with the movement, he was rewarded with several financial and other gifts including being handed an ambassadorial role for Uganda’s tourism in September last year.
However during his tenure, Uganda has went through the worst publicity ever seen since the war in Northern Uganda.
From the killing and injuring of Bobi Wine supporters during campaigns to internet shutdown, abductions and illegal detentions of citizens and singers.
The online battles against these unlawful acts culminated into the cancellation of the
MAMA awards, and even scared away potential tourists.
Kenzo’s closeness to government did not help improve domestic Tourism branding either. It is thus not surprising that the Uganda Tourism Board has dropped him Wednesday and replaced him with Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei.
Speaking to the press at the unveiling, the CEO of UTB, Lilly Ajarova said they had entered into a one year partnership with the athlete.
They hope to leverage on his stardom, love for Uganda and the wide number of platforms available to him to promote and market Uganda as a preferred tourism destination for both domestic and international tourists.
“We continue to encourage Ugandans to travel and, on our part, we commit to leverage the lessons and insights learned from this pandemic to further make domestic travel more enriching and worthwhile,” Lilly Ajarova added.
On his part, Cheptegei said “I am delighted to be here this morning- to express solidarity with all the players in Uganda’s tourism industry, as they seek to rebuild an industry that has been nearly destroyed by the Covid-19 pandemic. I am deeply grateful to the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) for having chosen me for this huge responsibility, to be my country’s Tourism Ambassador.”