Uganda: Company That Allegedly Bribed Kutesa Wanted Oil Blocks, Uganda Airlines

Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa
26 November 2017

Kampala — Mr Chi Ping Patrick Ho, the man America's Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) alleges bribed Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa with $500,000 (Shs1.8 billion) had focussed on getting unlicensed oil blocks in Uganda, and revamping the defunct Uganda Airlines.

Mr Ho, who was reportedly acting on behalf of China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), was considering building an oil refinery, and rebuilding Uganda Airlines, according to a US Attorney's document.

Additionally, Mr Ho wanted land by the lake to build a casino, hotels, shopping centres, a recreation parks and a China-Town.

This, according to the documents, was meant to attract tourists from China.

"On or about May 15, 2016, Ho emailed CC - 1 [an official of the Energy Company] with the subject line, "Main points of Uganda possibilities", reads an excerpt of the United States of America v Chi Patrick Ho and Cheikh Gadio complaint now before the New York Southern District Magistrate.

"Ho set forth various investment opportunities for the Energy Company, including the following: "1) Energy: still some blocks to be licensed out... ; Energy Industrial Park can be given to us... ," the documents read. "Suggest to include real estates, airport, second refinery etc... Tourism: rebuild Uganda Airline... "

An eight-person delegation that comprised of different executives from the Energy Company later had a "meeting at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development".

During that meeting, they discussed "issues related to the distribution and development of oil industry especially that of oil exploration, bidding, oil pipeline construction refinery etc".

The Daily Monitor's attempt to verify - if the meeting took place and what was the agenda - failed since Ms Irene Muloni, the Energy Minister, did not pick her calls.

Neither the State Minister for Energy Simon D'Ujanga nor the State minister for Mineral Development Peter Lokeris could be reached.

According to the complaint before the New York Southern District magistrate, Mr Kutesa's wife, Edith, accompanied the Energy Company delegation when it was in Uganda.

The Kutesas role was to help the Energy Company secure business advantages in Uganda, including the potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank.

CEFC, according to AFP new agency, refuted bribing Chad's President and Mr Kutesa.

In the Uganda case, Mr Ho settled on Mr Kutesa because of Kutesa's ability to connect Mr Ho and the Energy Company to President Museveni, a meeting Mr Kutesa reportedly hinted he "can arrange in the shortest time possible".

The Energy Company believed that once it met President Museveni, he would assist them to obtain lucrative energy and financial opportunities in Uganda.

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