12 December 2018

Uganda: Report On Kutesa Bribery Claims Out in January - AG

Findings into a claim that Foreign affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa, received a $500,000 (about Shs1.9 billion) bribe from a Chinese will be ready next month, but an interim report will be ready by December 20, the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, told Parliament yesterday.

"I am going to inquire into this matter and at the end of that inquiry, this Parliament shall be made aware of the findings of that investigation," Mr Byaruhanga said.

"I expect to bring back the report as soon as we resume in January," he added.

The concern

Mr Byaruhanga was responding to the demands of Lwemiyaga MP, Mr Theodore Ssekikubo and his counterpart, Mr Medard Sseggona, who sought a statement from government about the allegation.

Mr Sseggona said, "Whereas Mr Kutesa said he did not receive that money, the information from the President is that he told him it was not a bribe but a donation, a statement that verifies money was received."

A court in the United States of America, last week convicted former Hong Kong secretary for home affairs, Mr Patrick Ho, on charges of sending a bribe to Mr Kutesa to gain business favours in Uganda.

Prosecution relying on evidence gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), argued before a US court that Mr Ho sent the money from HSBC (Hong Kong) account of the energy non-government organisation, to Deutsche Bank in New York and onto Stanbic Bank in Uganda. The money was allegedly for charity.

According to court records, an FBI agent in Kampala, who tried to trace the NGO to the address the issue returned without results.

Mr Ssekikubo questioned the capacity of Uganda's Financial Intelligence Authority since it could not detect the movement of the money from the US to Uganda.

Earlier, the minister said he would issue a statement on the matter, but by evening no communication had been issued.

Jinja East MP, Mr Paul Mwiru, suggested yesterday Parliament appoints a committee to investigate Mr Kutesa. However, Mr Mwiru said he does not expect a thorough investigation by the Attorney General because Mr Museveni, according to the US court documents, is adversely mentioned.


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