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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 21:01 GMT 22:01 UK
Western PR company to sell Uganda
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni
Museveni was once the darling of western leaders
The Ugandan government is to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote its image abroad after growing criticism.

Details of the move emerged a day after President Yoweri Museveni released a statement asking foreign donors to respect his country's sovereignty.

The UK recently cancelled 5m ($10m) of aid, saying not enough had been done to establish fair multi-party politics.

A growing number of critical reports have appeared in the western media.

The foreign minister confirmed on Wednesday that the government would be spending about $675,000 to improve their image.

The London-based company, Hill and Knowlton (H & K), will also be working with the government to try and improve relationships with human rights groups like Human Rights Watch.

The PR company itself been criticised in the past for aiding countries like Indonesia and Turkey, whose human rights records have also come under fire.

Since President Museveni came to power 19 years ago, Uganda has operated a unique political system which severely restricted political parties.

The political landscape will soon change, with multi-party elections expected next year.

Critics accuse President Museveni of using these changes to push through other constitutional changes to allow him to run for president again.

Rock star and Aid campaigner Sir Bob Geldof recently accused Mr Museveni of wanting to be president for life.

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