By Ronald Kalangi
The government of Uganda has refuted allegations that a senior Venezuelan official used a Ugandan passport to slip his son to China.
This information circulated all over the world at the end of last week after a Daily Mail, a British newspaper, published a story that 17-year-old Tito Cabello, the son of Diosdado Cabello, the leader of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC), flew from Cuba, through Russia to China using Uganda travel documents.
His sister, Daniella Cabello, also allegedly used a US passport to Shanghai on Sunday, where they are reportedly joining other several supporters of the embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who are fleeing tension in Venezuela.
Both children boarded the Havana to Beijing flight as Desiree Contreras and Tito Contreras, apparently using their mother’s surname to hide their identities.
While speaking to the media on Friday, the ministry of internal affairs spokesperson Jacob Siminyu revealed that the Directorate of Citizenship & Immigration Control has never issued such travel documents.
“There have been false allegations that Diosdado Cabello (Venezuela) used a Ugandan passport to evacuate his son Tito Cabello to China,” Simunyu said.
“The ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA] wishes to clarify on the information published in the Daily Mail online and circulating in social media under the title “Venezuelan President Maduro’s right hand man evacuates his two youngest children to China under fake names.”
He said the story further states Cabello, the leader of the Venezuela’s National Assembly, known to be the second most powerful man in Venezuela behind President Maduro sent two of his 3 children to China and that his son Tito Cabello, 17 travelled to China on a Ugandan passport.
“MIA has never issued any passport in the names of Tito Contreras & therefore the allegations are unfounded.”
Simunyu added: “The Ministry wishes to categorically dismiss the allegations as false & the public is therefore notified to disregard the story & the allegations therein.”
He said immigration has been making East African passports but for the last two weeks those who paid for them hadn’t got.
“You will receive a message on your phone calling you to pick your passport when it’s ready. As caution, don’t follow instructions of forwarded messages.”
He urged Ugandans to be vigilant on any person who tries to fake Ugandan travel documents so that they can be used by ill motivated foreigners.