Man Washes Dishes In Germany Over Being Ugandan Minister

Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

This is Fred Walakira from Uganda who would rather wash dishes in a cafe in Bavaria than be a government minister in his home country.

German newspaper Bild report that Fred, 46, left Uganda, where he was “offered money and power” to travel to Germany “as a refugee” because he did not want to “betray his principles.”

Fred grew up in Uganda and graduated from university with a degree in organic farming, according to Bild. His career blossomed, and he became an adviser to farmers “across the country”. He went to events in Germany and China and met ambassadors and politicians.

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He told Bild: “I had a job wearing a suit and tie. I travelled a lot, living in hotels.”

But then the Ugandan government took notice of Walakira and reportedly wanted to use him for itself.

Mr Walakira told Bild: “I was even offered a ministerial position. But the prerequisite for this was that I should get organic farmers to use a particular insecticide and help to influence the election results.”

He declined and from then on, “the good life was over.”

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Mr Walakira says he was “threatened” and “in between, they offered me political posts again.”

Bild say that in 2015 he was even arrested and jailed “for a few weeks”.

Walakira says that “once, a police officer came into my cell, put a gun in my mouth and shouted ‘Why are you still fighting? We have the power!'”

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In February 2018, Mr Walakira decided to drive to the only international airport near Kampala, the capital city.

He flew to Frankfurt in Germany via the Belgian capital Brussels. Once he arrived in Germany, he applied for asylum.

Bild report he has had a residence and work permit in Germany since June 2019.

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He now lives in the southern state of Bavaria, in the town of Fischbachau where he found a job at “Cafe Winklstueberl”.

He told Bild: “I work as a dishwasher and a caretaker. I am very grateful to the German government that I can live here.”

However, he is worried about his family. His wife, whose name and age were not revealed, and his four children, unnamed but aged 17, 15, 13, and 10, still live in Uganda.

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He said: “They live in the countryside, where the government has little influence. I also want to make my story public because I hope my family is safe then.”

He added: “I miss my children and they miss their daddy.”

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Joseph Golder

I am a journalist and currently work as the chief subeditor at Central European News.

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