MPs label Kutesa a shark, moot censure motion over US bribery scam

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Kutesa, his wife and the Pope

Opposition Members of Parliament on Tuesday tasked the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to call Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa to Parliament with a statement explaining the bribery accusations he has been embroiled in.

Ntungamo Municipality MP Hon Gerald Karuhanga told the speaker that the issue he was raising has seen the entire country largely awash in same.

“Ugandans have been aware of a very critical matter where the Minister of Foreign Affairs has been accused of participating in bribery at an international level”, Karuhanga submitted.

In the last month, Ugandans have been reading, watching where the Minister for Foreign affairs has been accused of bribery at an international level.

In the 9th Parliament, Karuhanga was vocal and at the forefront of oil sharing agreements and alleged secret deals signed by government with oil companies.

He said before the appointment of Minister Kutesa, MPs questioned his credibility and asked that other credible men and women be given the chance to represent Uganda at an international level.

“I would request Minister Sam Kutesa to make a personal statement. If it’s as stated that he (Sam Kutesa) participated, solicited the bribery and lied that he was executing United Nations functions on behalf of UN and Ugandans, I would like the honourable to make a personal statement,” Karuhanga submitted.

Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana, quickly came to Kutesa’s defence saying Hon. Karuhanga was raising the matter and allegations based on media reports.

“The document I’m referring to is a court document,” Karuhanga shook off Rukutana’s excuse as lame.

“Can Parliament trust media reports making accusations about the Foreign Minister Kutesa?” Rukutana turned to the Speaker for rescue.

 Speaker Kadaga replied: “I will study the documents and make a ruling.”

But Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo observed that it is only fair that Minister Sam Kutesa comes to this house to make a statement about the bribery accusation.

“One minister was arrested for Shs5 million as a bribe [Herbert Kabafunzaki], but we have a shark who no one is touching,” Ssekikubo observed.

Hon. Medard Ssegona tasked the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, to make a statement about the bribery allegations in media against Minister Kutesa.

“I ask that the Prime Minister makes a statement about the allegations in media against Minister Sam Kutesa,” Ssegona pointed out.

Kadaga promised to make a ruling on the issue tomorrow.

Kira Municipality MP Ssemujju Nganda offered to remind the speaker in case she forgets.

“I put this house on notice that tomorrow, I will be moving a motion, and I hope that the Attorney General who was on the same charge sheet during CHOGM appreciates this motion.”

He then turned to Speaker Kadaga: ”We entirely agree with you to guide us tomorrow on ‘Sam Kutesa’ allegations.”

The minister is accused of taking a Shs1.8bn bribe from a Chinese company to help in the sale of Crane bank and secure investment opportunities for the company in Uganda.