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.
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)
“You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower
There is an ancient saying that you cannot teach old dogs new tricks, neither can you do with President who has been running a republic since 1986. Therefore, with this in mind, the new comic relief from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is hard for me to take serious. Certainly, with the knowledge of all the men and possibly woman who could have become the leader of the party and the Executive of Uganda.
Still, in 2017, we are at the same crossroads, the same junction and nothing has changed. The partners and participants are practically the same, unless some new cronies and sugar-babies of the Movement comes into the mix. Perhaps, the most stunning fact is that old men like Gen. Otafiire steadily sink the world with his endless wisdom.
It is as if Museveni still is the Shepard and the Ugandan people is helpless sheep needing his guidance. The reality is that the belief that he can do something he has not done is pointless. The only card he has left is to destroy more kingdoms with force and kill more his opposition. If he had proved some sort of democratic figments in his in body, it has surely died with age. As his words are now more important than legislation.
The President handpicked elite and cronies, the suiters and the ones trying to eat while can. As they know not what will happen when their master stop breathing. The plans and the succession plans has not been official or even portrayed, there been rumors of Maj. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, those leaks turned into a besieged offices and depleted staff at Daily Monitor, back-in-the-day.
Still, if he is the viable candidate to takeover and the family dynasty that the President tries to create is hard to know. Since none in public can read the mind of the old man with the hat. So that the “news” that NRM Members of Parliament finally planned to talk about the succession seems far-fetched! Should it been done a decade or two ago, if it was a serious attempt?
He is on his unofficially seventh term as President and leader of the NRM. The founder and current leader of it. Not as he has given in without weapons in the past and instead of dialogue, he still sends Special Force Command or the Flying Squad to doze of possible enemies. Not as if it is an open discussion, more like a ruckus of who can get first to the brown envelopes and get the license to blead the state out of more funds.
Therefore, here I am, and not believing one single bit that President Museveni or the NRM NEC or any other parts of the NRM have the slightest care in mind to change him for somebody else. NRM and the NRM elite needs Museveni and his cronies, the crony system is there because of him. No question and no one with a clear mind would not see that. He gives and takes away as he sees fit. When he needs you he pays you and your extended family, but when your aspirations or goals to become bigger than him. Then you securing that you become a fringe candidate.
Museveni and his family, Museveni as his business partners does not need succession. The ones asking for it now will become renegade NRM MPs and could end up independent in the Parliament, as in the past when MPs has taken a stand towards the NRM NEC or the almighty himself. I doubt there will be change of guards, as there have not been for decades upon decades.
What we can be sure of is that President Museveni and President Mugabe are doing the same thing in their nations, holding the power without hesitation of what will happen when they leave and what sort of power vacuum that will be unleashed. What we do know is that the NRM will use all of their tricks and manipulation, all sort of writings and public display to make this sort thing normal. Peace.
On Saturday and Sunday last week, I joined Dr Kizza Besigye as he campaigned in Mityana and Mubende districts. On Monday, Besigye campaigned in the districts of Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo. He was in Kamwenge yesterday and will today traverse Bundibugyo and Ntoroko. Col Besigye will complete the Tooro sub-region tomorrow and return to Ankole through Rubirizi, up to Bushenyi.
The response in Mityana was overwhelming, but expected. It is Mubende that made a big statement. I travelled in the same vehicle with Kampala lord mayor Erias Lukwago and Lubaga North MP Moses Kasibante. Because of the crowds along the main road, we occasionally stopped to at least greet them.
A senior NRM leader from Mubende later told me that “the MPs may win, but for Mzee, I don’t know”. Mubende has in the past overwhelmingly voted for Museveni, the reason it was nicknamed the Karamoja of Buganda. But this Karamoja of Buganda has significantly changed.
At Busimbi grounds, where we had the main rally, the crowd was as big as has been the case elsewhere, almost bigger than Mukono’s. The enthusiasm, especially among young people, was even more humbling. And there is no better person that illustrated the need for change than Mr Odrek Rwabwogo, husband to one of President Museveni’s daughters. While campaigning for the post of NRM vice chairman in charge of western Uganda, Rwabwogo noted that his father-in-law seized power when Uganda had 10 million people. Last year’s national census put the country’s total population at over 34 million people. This means that at least 24 million people have been born when Museveni is president. And to Rwabwogo, the new generation needed some “fresh air”.
That is what I saw in Mubende. Blue T-shirts bearing the FDC logo and Dr Besigye’s portrait were not being distributed but sold along streets. And of course Besigye continued receiving gifts, especially goats, everywhere he went. There is a gentleman who gave him Shs 400,000 at the Mubende rally. This one did it more dramatically by handing him a Shs 50,000 note at a time as the crowd ululated. The same man again pulled out a bundle of Shs 20,000 notes and started showering lord mayor Lukwago with a note at a time. This was followed by the offering of goats, some draped in Besigye posters.
The NRM leader I mentioned earlier told me “it will be difficult to resist the wave of change this time”.
I am sure Mr Museveni watches and analyses these images daily. He knows his days are numbered. It is the reason he has started attacking media organizations. The crime of NTV and Daily Monitor is to continue broadcasting and printing these images. At FDC, we actually think the media has not reported the full extent of this wave of change, but we are not editors to determine that. The truth is that Besigye has bigger crowds than all the other candidates combined. And these crowds are not ferried, because the FDC and all Besigye supporters don’t have enough resources.
You remember the talk of switching off NTV? Thank God it was a rumour. I have been told other TV proprietors, including those of NBS and WBS, have been summoned by State House and warned. Of course for Daily Monitor, it is routine. When the paper had just started, Museveni always complained against it and its founders were dismissed as Acholis who wanted to remove the new government. All people with names starting with letter O – Obbo, Oguttu, Ogen and Ouma – have since left the Monitor but Museveni’s hatred continues. I will, in a future article, revisit this relationship.
I want to concentrate more on the Sunday violence in Ntungamo. I saw images of young people wearing Museveni campaign T-shirts being battered by candidate Amama Mbabazi’s supporters. And this was also expected. There is no presidential candidate that has suffered at the hands of NRM hooligans like Amama. Television stations showed us NRM youths defacing Amama’s posters in Bushenyi in broad daylight. And Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde flew a Museveni campaign chopper to the venue of Mbabazi’s rally in Fort Portal, moments before his arrival! All these look like actions of a panicky dictator. I was happy when NRM Secretary General Kasule Lumumba condemned these actions and distanced the ruling party from them. But the fact that they have continued is a clear indicator that someone somewhere is encouraging and probably financing them. What the police should have done was to arrest Ronald Kibuule when he lined up NRM youths along Mukono town council streets to provoke Amama.
Again police should have arrested Ntungamo municipality MP Yona Musinguzi who was seen distributing Museveni T-shirts to youths that stormed the venue for a Mbabazi rally. The reason presidential candidates harmonized campaign programmes was to avoid such scenarios. What inspector general of police Kale Kayihura is forgetting is that when you unleash violence, you are actually teaching everybody to be violent. In fact, Amama’s supporters have tolerated this for too long. Instead of protecting a regime that has lost popularity, Gen Kale Kayihura should prepare and begin rehearsing how to lose and hand over power. This is inevitable.
Major General Matayo Kyaligonza who is part of the Ugandan Envoy to Burundi has started to speak his mind to the media. He has become critical of the way Museveni lingers in power and trying to get his son-in-law Rwabwogo to succeed him in power in country. At the same time talking about respecting him as the president he still is, but this is totally different from what other loyalist are doing in the country. A breath of fresh air, wonder how Mzee feels about this? Now all of a sudden brigadier Kyaligonza from the bush-war is questioning his methods and continuation of the power in the country.
Maj Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza has been saying recently:
“Let the president call a meeting of NRM top organs of the National Executive Council and Central Executive Committee and we discuss the matter [Sucession]” (…) “Our dear president has also made it very clear. Presidency is not like hereditary club. He should call NEC and CEC and let us discuss. We used to discuss matters in the bush really” (…) “I can defy any other person but Museveni is still the president and I respect him” (…) “the way I see it” (…) “If I meet him (Rwabwogo) somewhere and he says that I know nothing will give him a hot slap” (…) “the one who brought us here? If you want to succeed your father do you kill him in order to get your inheritance?” (…) “Youths shouldn’t think that they will start with wanting to be president. Let them start at the LC-I then we see how they behave. But when you say that the old guard are “bazeeyi”[old] and they don’t know what they are saying then we shall have problems” (…) “[Historicals] don’t want familiarity because when we came [into power] we didn’t disrespect people” (The Insider, 2015).
He has spoken his mind a little bit more:
“Who is that one? Odrek? I don’t know him, I have never even seen him,” he said. “Is he the one who gave me work? He should tell such things [about retiring] to his father in–law [Museveni]. We are the ones that brought his father-in-law in power. Don’t make me talk too much” (…) “As a matter of fact, he was the commander who took down Makindye barracks, attacking Ndeeba from Masaka road. I know that very well,” Rwabwogo said. “I give him the due respect and the honour that you give an elder. However, I stand on the shoulders of the elders in order to do something better because there is always an evening of something and a dawn of another” (…) “When I get annoyed, I really get annoyed and I say the truth. I never sugar-coat in order to make people happy. We [historicals] don’t want familiarity because when we came [into power] we didn’t disrespect people,” (…) ““Look at all those people who are attending [Col Kizza] Besigye’s rallies. They want to support a cause because they are tired” (Kiyonga & Nsubuga, 2015).
I think his quotes and words speak of volume on their own. That he is asking questions in this manner also from a man who has been that loyal and becoming part of the Historicals of the NRM. He has gotten even a place in the Ugandan Envoy to Burundi as talk of dialogue there. He straightforward talking about discussion of power in the NEC and CEC proves that their questions from the loyalist even in the party. Even if the Police have gotten control over NRM Poor Youth Forum it will be harder to push on the Historicals because of their history and place in the legendary bush-war that brought the NRA which is now the NRM into power. So the President has to listen to keep things in order he can’t ambush the brigadier in the same way as the youth, even if he ask sincere questions about the succession and sole candidacy that President Museveni lives by. And it should be thought about when he is quoted and clear voice: “I never sugar-coat in order to make people happy. We don’t want familiarity because when we came [into power] we didn’t disrespect people”. That should be red light for the president! That is not GREEN! Not a go. That is what he is saying! Though I believe that the Mzee he has served all this year’s, won’t listen now and he hasn’t listened before. Brigadier can have the best intention in the world and speaking his mind about the president, but he at the same time want to show loyalty, that doesn’t mix with the general words he speaking. Though that is something we can expect, he is after all a military man who want to be frank, but also want to keep up with chain-of-command! Peace.
The Insider – ‘Kyaligonza demands NRM meet on Museveni exit’ (24.08.2015) link: http://www.theinsider.ug/kyaligonza-demands-nrm-debate-on-museveni-exit/
Kiyonga, Derrick & Nsubuga, Alex – ‘Kyaligonza to Rwabwogo: first tell Museveni about retirement’ (24.08.2015) link: http://www.observer.ug/news-headlines/39452-kyaligonza-to-rwabwogo-first-tell-museveni-about-retirement