Kazibwe Corruption "Dossier" Emerges in Bid to derail Uganda's AU Candidate

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Dr. Kazibwe


A secretive group has circulated to African and other foreign diplomats at the African Union and U.N. a dossier containing corruption allegations against Specioza Kazibwe Uganda's former vice president and its nominee as candidate to replace madam Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the helm of the AU.

The diplomats are now alarmed that Kazibwe's candidacy could invite the kind of media scrutiny that accompanied Ugandan foreign minister Sam Kutesa's elevation as President of the U.N. General Assembly in 2014 and the corruption allegations he carried to New York.

Other candidates for the AU chairperson post are Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, foreign minister of Botswana and Agapito Mba Mokuy, foreign minister of Equatorial Guinea.

In the Kutesa debacle it emerged that, in addition to the Uganda Airlines scandal where he was accused of stripping the company's assets for his benefit --causing its collapse -- and his alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars from public funds designated to host the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Uganda, his private company Entebbe Handling Services (ENHAS) billed the United Nations $30 million between 2008 and 20013 through a contract he may have won fraudulently.

Kutesa, who is the one pushing for Specioza Kazibwe to get the job, never informed the U.N. of his ownership stake in ENHAS when the company was awarded the contract and reaped the $30 million. "They have a close friendship," says the U.N. diplomat of Kutesa and Specioza Kazibwe.

Ultimately, when The Black Star News exposed the $30 million Kutesa/ENHAS billings the U.N. helped coverup the alleged corruption by removing ENHAS' invoices from its website.


"Ban ki-Moon was furious over the scandal," says the U.N. diplomat referring to the ENHAS matter; the diplomat has also seen the Kazibwe dossier. "I can understand why my comrades at the AU want to avoid a circus and want nothing to do with Kazibwe."

(Kutesa and his wife became entangled in another scandal involving a Chinese billionaire before his UN term ended.)

The Kazibwe dossier is believed to have been prepared by former officials of public institutions she oversaw in Uganda.

"She cannot fill one of Zuma's shoes with both feet," says the U.N. diplomat of Kazibwe.

Indeed, Zuma had a reputation of having been one of the best and most efficient South African ministers, celebrated for fighting corruption, before taking the U.N. post.


At the AU, under madam Zuma's watch, the organization's profile has grown, culminating in U.S. president Barack Obama's address to African leaders at its headquarters last year. When Obama hosted the U.S.-African Leaders Summit in 2014 in Washington, Madam Zuma was one of the invited leaders and played a prominent role.

And during his own address at AU headquarters last July, Obama admonished African leaders who stay too long in power, including those who change their country's constitution and rig elections.

The comments were seen as specifically directed at Uganda's Gen. Yoweri Museveni who gutted presidential term-limits from the constitution in 2005 and has held power for 30 years.

After Uganda's rigged vote in February this year the U.S. ambassador there, Deborah Malac, in a speech in Kampala announced that the U.S. would now fund organizations directly and denounced the government's corruption.

The U.S. is a major financial supporter of the AU's peace-keeping operations and shareholder in the African Development Bank.

There's concern in Addis Ababa that Kazibwe could undo the gains made under madam Zuma.

The Kazibwe dossier covers two major corruption allegations against her: the first from when she was minister of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries; and the second was when she chaired the country's micro-finance center whose goal was poverty alleviation.

While serving as the agriculture minister a Parliamentary committee grilled Kazibwe in 1999 over alleged disappearance of millions of dollars designated for dams in a World Bank-backed program.


When she chaired the micro-finance support center in 2011 she allegedly sent its executive director on forced leave because he refused to divert millions of dollars meant to fight poverty, to Gen. Yoweri Museveni's re-election campaign. She denied the allegations and told Uganda's The Daily Monitor "all lies."

Kazibwe was fired as chair of the micro-finance post by the country's finance minister on the recommendation of Uganda's inspector general of government, Raphael Baku.


After further investigation, Baku in 2012 ordered that she repay for unaccounted funds and said she had also abused allowance privileges, for example drawing vast sums of money just for coming to the office to check on her mail.



Now the Ugandan government wants Kazibwe to run the AU Secretariat.

A petition has been launched to block Kazibwe's candidacy


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