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Uganda: Press Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the UN Decision on Regional Service Center Entebbe (07.07.2018)

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Opinion: Not surprised Hon. Kutesa is implicated in an FBI bribing case; He is one of the untouchable in the Kitchen Cabinet!

Well, when the news broke that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the United States of America, actually had a case implicating a “Ugandan Scheme” involving Honourable Sam Kahamba Kutesa, the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and previous President of the United Nations General Assembly. So clearly, even with all of these titles it is not enough for the brother-in-law to the President Museveni. As he wants more funds and more money without any consideration of the implications behind it.

The recent developments shouldn’t shock anyone. Kutesa has been in the rear-view of the corruption for decades, sometimes riding on a red-light for long, you wonder when the car was about crash into something. He has been walking on the edge and proves again to use his title and status, to again bribe and soliciting money without have proper guidelines behind it. So that the “investor” actually corrupted to get better deals in Uganda. It happen within 2016, but Kutesa has done similar within the energy and oil industry in 2012 and it goes beyond that too. Therefore, the breaking news this week, is that the U.S. Court are implicating Kutesa. Not that Kutesa is corrupt, that is open non-secret for the ones following Ugandan politics. Therefore, Kutesa or Kuteesa himself are part of an untouchable group of people, that has even been reflected upon in the past. Just take a look at the information, that fits the paradigm of what the FBI is investigating these days.

Allegedly, there is an established cartel of untouchable individuals whose business is the president and who use his name to seek business opportunities for their gratification while at the same time seeking to perpetuate the regime that provides them with the opportunity to enrich themselves. A list that includes some of the president’s relatives and close friends would include, Sam Kuteesa, Salim Saleh, Odrek Rwabwogo (who is married to one of the president’s daughters), Moses Byaruhanga (who is married to a relative of the first lady), Bob Kabonero (the proprietor of Kampala casino), Haji Habib Kagimu (a business man and close friend to President Qadaffi), Noble Mayonbo, Jim Muhwezi and a few others. These people practically decide what to do, and then the president calls in the ministers to sign. These people constitute part of the group that is commonly referred to as the kitchen cabinet. It could actually be possible to do a power mapping in Uganda that identifies the power brokers in the country. (Interview with the Director for Economic Affairs at ISO, Mr. Cheeye, October 2005)” (Amundsen, 2006).

ENHAS Part I:

For example, Museveni refused to take action against Sam Kutesa who had been accused in a parliamentary report, of using his position to defraud Uganda Airlines Corporation. The President said the evidence against Kutesa was not conclusive. However, many people attributed Museveni’s defense of Kutesa to their joint family connections. Kutesa’s wife is a sister to the First Lady, and Museveni’s eldest son, Muhoozi Keinerugaba, is expected to marry Kutesa’s daughter. (Keinerugaba was, until recently, the manager of his uncle Salim Saleh’s business empire). The damning parliamentary report on privatisation was released in December last year while a meeting of European donors was taking place in Kampala. The public expected Museveni to take tough action against the ministers and other government officials implicated, if only to demonstrate to the donors that he was serious about fighting corruption. Instead, he told the donors that those shouting about corruption were «malicious and opportunistic,» trying to settle personal scores or gain political advancement. The censure motion against Kutesa is expected to be tabled shortly. Museveni is quick to enumerate the various institutions set up under his government to deal with corruption, including the inspectorate of government, the Public Accounts Committee, the vice-president’s office, and the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity” (Kirungi, 1999).

ENHAS Part II:

Muhwezi’s counterpart and Minister of State for Finance in charge of Privatization, Kutesa, was charged with overseeing the divestiture of the cargo-handling operation of the Uganda Airlines Corporation (UAC). UAC had a 50 percent stake in Entebbe Handling Services (ENHAS), the company that handled its cargo operations, while Kutesa—in an apparent conflict of interest—owned the rest of the shares in the same company. In addition to being a shareholder, Kutesa was also chairman of the board of directors of ENHAS. This conflict of interest was contrary to clause 8(1-3) of the Leadership Code. A Parliamentary select committee, charged with investigating the privatization process, produced a lengthy report accusing Kutesa of directly influencing the decision to sell the airline’s 50 percent share to ENHAS, falsifying the company’s accounts, and evading taxes” (Smith, 2006).

ENHAS Part III:

The Paradise Papers has already proven that ENHAS profits has been tax evaded again as it has gone to a Shell Company in the Seychelles, which was a deal agreed upon in 2012. This was from ENHAS to Katonga Investment. We do not know much funds that is sent between them, but the reporting of the agreement and deals. Show that the ENHAS is a key component in the shady dealing Kutesa does. As he has previously used it to get ill-gotten gains.

As Global Witness is reporting it as: “Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s foreign minister, set up a discretionary trust in the Seychelles in 2012. Appley identified Kutesa’s companies a “high risk,” given his political role and media reports of alleged corruption and bribery involving Kutesa, during a routine review in 2015. In his response to ICIJ’s partner in Uganda, the Daily Monitor, Kutesa said “I don’t have anything to hide…”and that he established the companies, but “I have never done anything with it at all. I told Appleby to close it many years ago.” (Global Witness, 2017).

From Dorsey and Whitey Corruption Digest of January 2012:

President Museveni has announced to members of the National Resistance Movement’s Central Executive Committee that he is investigating Justice Minister Kahinda Otafiire following an intelligence briefing that the minister masterminded the leaked oil bribery documents which accused Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and ministers Mr Sam Kutesa and Mr Hilary Onek of taking bribes to influence the award of oil deals. As reported in the November edition of the Corruption Digest, the ministers maintain their innocence. However, Parliament has resolved that those involved step aside until the validity of the documents has been investigated. According to President Museveni, the intelligence report accuses Mr Ottafiire of masterminding the oil bribery scandal to disorganise perceived detractors in government. President Museveni has vowed to investigate the matter in his own capacity before briefing the National Resistance Movement Central Executive Committee”(Dorsey and Whitey Corruption Digest, January 2012).

Recent Bribe for Energy Deal:

In or about February 2016 – after the Ugandan Foreign Minister had resumed his role as Foreign Minister of Uganda, and his in-law had been reelected as the President of Uganda – the Ugandan Foreign Minister solicited a payment from HO, purportedly for a charitable foundation that he wished to launch. HO caused a $500,000 payment to be wired to an account in Uganda designated by the Ugandan Foreign Minister, through a bank in New York, New York. In his communications, HO variously referred to this payment as a “donation” to the reelection campaign of the President of Uganda (who had already been reelected) and as a “donation” to “support” the Ugandan Foreign Minister. In fact, this payment was a bribe to obtain business advantages for the Energy Company in its efforts to secure contracts and ventures in Uganda’s financial and energy sectors. HO also provided the Ugandan Foreign Minister, as well as the President of Uganda, with promises of future benefits, including proposing to partner with both officials’ family businesses in potential joint ventures. In exchange, the Ugandan Foreign Minister assisted the Energy Company in obtaining business in Uganda, including by facilitating the Energy Company’s interest in potentially acquiring a bank” (DoJ, 2017).

The Foundation that Kutesa used the bribe through from the HO has no headquarters, no email and is not registered. So the bribe was fueled through an organization not existing in 2016. That is solicited through the checks by the investigators from the United States in November 2017. It was Special Agent Thomas P. McNulty who was looking into the case concerning Kutesa.

Clearly, there are enough scandals involving the Kitchen Cabinet Member Kutesa or Kuteesa. He has a history of corruption and misusing his position for monetary gains. He is one of them and will be surely continue to do so. Even if the United States charges him with money laundering and soliciting ill-gained funds or bribes for energy deals within Uganda. That is not surprising, as he has done that not only in 2016, but back in 2012, as well as other speculative deals getting state reserves and other funds to put in his own pocket.

If we really took a deep dive into his estates, his businesses and into his accounts. I am sure we would find more shadow agreements and more questionable money that has been earned by him and others. A man who has been used to getting bribes, surely, will appreciate it and expect so. Since the power is within reach and he can grate favors for the investors. Therefore, better pay up to get license and possible markets for their trade. This is done by paying in advance the Minister and secure profitable resources and advantages, that others wouldn’t. While also getting an okay and giving a call to the President. To make sure this is okay. Certainly, Kutesa could have maneuvered this way, all along. Peace.

Reference:

Amundsen, Inge – ‘Political corruption and the role of donors (in Uganda)’(January, 2006) – CMI Commissioned Report

Department of Justice – ‘Head Of Organization Backed By Chinese Energy Conglomerate, And Former Foreign Minister Of Senegal, Charged With Bribing High-Level African Officials’ (20.11.2017) link: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/head-organization-backed-chinese-energy-conglomerate-and-former-foreign-minister

Kirungi, Fred – ‘Uganda – The fight against corruption at a crossroads’ ANB-BIA Supplement (March 1999) link: http://ospiti.peacelink.it/anb-bia/nr367/e06.html

Global Witness – ‘THE PARADISE PAPERS: TRUST TRANSPARENCY IN THE EU’ (November 2017)

Smith, John – ‘Case Study on the Role of Parliament and the Media in the Fight against Corruption’ (2006)

Press Release: Sam Kutesa don’t want to become the Speaker of Parliament (29.12.2015)

PR kutesa 29.12.15

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