Corrupt Leaders are Public Enemy No. 1: Case Study Uganda's Sam Kuteesa

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Kuteesa. Public Enemy. Photo: U.S. Government Exhbit at trial that ended Dec. 5 with Patrick Ho conviction.


Thandeka Gqubule an Iconic writer from South Africa, in her powerful book titled “No Longer whispering to Power, The Story Of Thuli Madonsela”, captures the mind of the former South African Public Protector.

She writes: "In Madonsela’s eyes,
The people govern through others.
Power is entrusted to representatives,
It does not belong to them.
The people then hold the power to keep the representatives honest.

CORRUPTION is undemocratic.
It disempowers the poor and disproportionally and illegally enriches the undeserving.
The failure of embody the spirit of country’s democratic constitution is anathema ...”

Leaders are a stand in of the masses they lead, I submit to us to confirm that leaders are in a social contract with the the led (Owners of power) and the led have a right to criticize the leader if they’re unsatisfied with modus operandi or overthrow the system of governance. By doing this, Citizens will be reclaiming back their power that’s been violated by the (mis)leaders.

As a nation we have been shamed once again by our leaders over the ongoing corruption scandal that was committed beginning when Uganda had the honor of leading the whole world as President of the UN General Assembly (PGA) through Minister of Foreign Affairs the now Dishonorable Sam Kuteesa.

In his capacity as PGA, Kuteesa, assisted by the wife Edith Kuteesa conspired with Chi Ping Patrick Ho, a former Hong Kong home affairs minister for the Kuteesa's to receive a $500,000 bribe on behalf of CEFC China Energy, a multi-billion dollar company based in Shanghai. The FBI started minitoring the Kuteesa's communications in September 2014.

The bribe money was paid on May 6, 2016 after Kuteesa had completed his term as PGA. It was wired from CEFC China's HSBC account in Hong Kong to New York; the money was then wired to a Stanbic Bank account in Uganda.

Kutesa was paid to secure a one- on- one meeting between Ho and a CEFC China delegation and President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni who was also given a gift of $500,000 in cash; this money was delivered by Ho and the delegation when they were invited to Museveni's swearing-in in May 2016. The payments to Kuteesa and Museveni was to secure deals for CEFC China in the oil and infrastructure development industries in Uganda. CEFC was also to form joint-venture businesses with the families of Kuteesa and Museveni.

The details of the conspiracy and payments emerged when Patrick Ho was convicted Dec. 5, in U.S. federal court in New York after a one-week trial for the bribe payments in addition to money laundering.

After Ho's conviction and news coverage in global media--CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Financial Times, BBC-- some Ugandans expected the President to reprimand Kuteesa who is also father in-law of his eldest son, Gen. Muhoozi Kaenerugaba. Kuteesa had carried the name of Uganda, as UN PGA. This was violation of a social contract he had signed with Ugandans.

Other Ugandans wondered how Museveni would reprimand Kuteesa since Ho was convicted for also bribing Museveni himself $500,000.

Ugandans now have an answer. Without any independent investigaton of any sort there are now reports that Kuteesa did nothing wrong as far as the Ugandan attorney general is concerned. This would confirm the position of those who believe Museveni cannot punish Kuteesa without also punishing himself --they each received $500,000.

While Museveni has publicly said Kuteesa told him the $500,000 wired to Stanbic was a "donation", even though no charity existed according to an FBI investigation, Museveni has yet to say a word about the $500,000 in cash Ho was convicted for paying him.

Also, what does it mean to the nation when Transparency International awards the President a trophy for fighting corruption the day before Ho was convicted in New York?
Activists have denounced it as a mockery because the President himself has bred corruption and therefore cannot fight the scourge.

Citizens of Uganda need to know that they hold the instruments and power to repeal and recall the power which belongs to them, which they entrusted to leaders who act with impunity.

Any leader who breaks his social contract is a clear testimony that he’s no longer representing the interests of the citizens who happen to be the owners of power.

The President has once again proved --this time to the whole world with the Ho conviction-- that he cannot fight graft and corruption that’s now feeding on the bone marrow of the country.

It’s time Ugandans know who their enemies are.

The writer is a Ugandan Political & Human Rights Activist
@Mwalimu Tahakabar

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