A one Ugandan citizen by names Biran Atuheire has come out and petitioned the High Court civil division in Kampala seeking for orders to have Sam Kutesa dropped as Foreign Affairs minister before the Director of Public Prosecutions institutes criminal proceedings against him.
Kutesa is being accused of receiving a bribe of $500 from former Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho Chi-ping who was few weeks back convicted in US court for bribery and money laundering.Chi-Ping was found guilty by a federal jury in New York of offering millions of dollars in bribes to African officials including Sam Kutesa to gain business favours.
Biran Atuheire who seeks petition says court grant orders that Kutesa is not fit to hold any public office over bribery saying that the Ho’s conviction is a clear indicator that Uganda’s Foreign Affairs minister is as well guilty.
after the bribery allegations took over the airwaves “the president of the republic of Uganda on December 10 2018 referred to the bribe as a gift which is an acknowledgment of the fact that the money was indeed received and in this case, the first respondent (Kutesa) ought to have declared the ‘gift’ to the Inspectorate of Government,”Atuheire contends.
“Therefore, the actions of the first respondent contravened the law.”
The petitioner also contends that the alleged bribe was meant to secure business dealings in railway services, infrastructure construction, fishing, hydro energy, banking and finance for China Energy Company, a Chinese conglomerate.
He adds that serving as Foreign Affairs Minister, Kutesa received the bribe contrary to section 2(a) 5(a)(iii) of the Anti -Corruption Act of 2009 adding that he ought to be forced to relinquish his position with immediate effect.
He says that Museveni’s response in regards the said bribery claims in which he said he had been told it was a gift is evidence enough to have Kutesa relieved of his duties as Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister with immediate effect.
“The applicant seeks an order that the first respondent immediately vacates the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and that the Attorney General through the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions commence criminal proceedings against him(Kutesa),”Atuheire says.
According to prosecution, evidence gathered by FBI indicated that the former Hong Kong minister sent the money to a bank account in the US before it was wired onto an account in Stanbic Bank in Uganda.
Ho, 69, was Hong Kong’s Home Affairs minister from 2002 to 2007 before becoming the deputy secretary general of a think tank that was financed by Chinese conglomerate, CEFC China Energy.
He was convicted by the New York Southern District Court jury on seven of eight counts of bribery and money laundering over oil rights for CEFC in Chad and Uganda and he now awaits sentence.
Last week, Members of Parliament put the Attorney General to task to explain the stage at which the investigations into the bribery allegations against Kutesa had reached and when the report would be released.
“I am going to inquire into the matter and at the end of the inquiry, parliament shall be made aware of the findings of these investigations,” Attorney General, William Byaruhanga said.
He added that there would be thorough investigations into the alleged bribery claims and before the end of January, a report will be out.