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US sanctions speaker Among, hubby Magogo over corruption

Speaker Anita Among

Speaker Anita Among

The United States has sanctioned Uganda's speaker of parliament Anita Among and former Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu.

Also sanctioned are former ministers for Karamoja Mary Gorreti Kitutu, Agnes Nandutu, and current minister of state for Finance Amos Lugolobi.

The announcement was made in a statement issued today Thursday by the United States Department. The US government has also designated Among’s spouse, Moses Magogo Hassim, who is the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) president, Kitutu’s spouse, Michael George Kitutu; and Lugolobi’s spouse, Evelyne Nakimera; they also are generally ineligible for entry into the United States.

“Speaker of parliament Anita Among is designated due to involvement in significant corruption tied to her leadership of Uganda’s parliament. All four officials abused their public positions for their benefit at the expense of Ugandans,” US sanctions read in part.

Whereas Among, Lugolobi, Nandutu, and Kitutu are designated for corruption and abuse of office, Elwelu, who is currently serving as presidential advisor on security, has been sanctioned over commanding UPDF that participated in alleged extra-judicial killings.

“Additionally, Peter Elwelu, former deputy chief of the Ugandan Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), is designated due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights. Specifically, Peter Elwelu was involved, while commanding UPDF forces, in extrajudicial killings that were committed by members of the UPDF. As a result of these actions, the designated Ugandan officials are generally ineligible for entry into the United States,” US further explains.

Elwelu while UPDF 2nd Division commander led an assault on the palace of Rwenzururu kingdom in Kasese, leaving more than 150 people killed while over 200 were arrested and detained for more than five years.

The US said the designations against the four individuals are meant to show solidarity with Ugandans advocating for democratic principles, a government that delivers for all its citizens, and accountability for actions committed by those who abuse their position through corruption and gross violations of human rights.

The US also said that it is taking steps to impose visa restrictions on multiple other Ugandan officials for undermining the democratic process and repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations in Uganda. 

It also said that the sanctions reaffirm its commitment to support transparency in Uganda’s democratic processes, counter corruption globally, and address the broader culture of impunity that prevents all Ugandans from enjoying their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Last month, the United Kingdom also announced sanctions on Among, Kitutu, and Nandutu over corruption. Among, according to the UK has utilized resources dubiously accrued from Uganda using her position to make investments including buying a house in the UK.

However, Among told parliament that she was not bothered by the sanctions and that she did not even own a pussy cat in the UK.  She went on to urge the UK to respect other countries’ values and cultures. 

The four politicians have joined a long list of Ugandan officials sanctioned by the US such as former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Edward Kale Kayihura, former Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) commander, Maj Gen Abel Kandiho, Uganda Prisons Commissioner Dr Johnson Byabashaija.  

Full statement

The Department of State is publicly designating five current and former Ugandan officials for their involvement in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights.

Speaker of Parliament Anita Among is designated due to involvement in significant corruption tied to her leadership of Uganda’s Parliament. Former Minister of Karamoja Affairs Mary Goretti Kitutu, former Minister of State for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu, and Minister of State for Finance Amos Lugolobi are being designated due to their involvement in significant corruption related to conduct that misused public resources and diverted materials from Uganda’s neediest communities.  All four officials abused their public positions for their personal benefit at the expense of Ugandans.

Additionally, Peter Elwelu, former Deputy Chief of the Ugandan Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), is designated due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights.  Specifically, Peter Elwelu was involved, while commanding UPDF forces, in extrajudicial killings that were committed by members of the UPDF.  As a result of these actions, the designated Ugandan officials are generally ineligible for entry into the United States.

The Department is also taking steps to impose visa restrictions on multiple other Ugandan officials for undermining the democratic process and repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations in Uganda.  These individuals are responsible for, or complicit in, the repression of Ugandan members of political opposition groups, civil society organizers, and vulnerable communities in Uganda.

The United States stands with Ugandans advocating for democratic principles, a government that delivers for all its citizens, and accountability for actions committed by those who abuse their position through corruption and gross violations of human rights. 

Impunity allows corrupt officials to stay in power, slows the pace of development, facilitates crime, and causes unequal distribution of resources, which can affect underrepresented and underserved populations disproportionally.  Today’s actions reaffirm the U.S. commitment to support transparency in Uganda’s democratic processes, counter corruption globally, and address the broader culture of impunity that prevents all Ugandans from enjoying their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

These public designations are made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2024 (Div. F, P.L. 118-47).  The Department is also designating Among’s spouse, Moses Magogo Hassim; Kitutu’s spouse, Michael George Kitutu; and Lugolobi’s spouse, Evelyne Nakimera; they also are generally ineligible for entry into the United States.  The additional steps to impose visa restrictions on multiple other Ugandan individuals are being taken under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act under the policy Secretary Blinken expanded in December 2023.

Comments

+6 #1 Chakua Joel 2024-05-30 21:46
In a democratic setting by now someone should have resigned to pave way for investigations!
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-10 #2 Lysol 2024-05-31 00:42
I'm not a fun of the yellow lady bird, but the US under one senile Biden is turning into a third world republic in many ways.

All the world's dictators are now laughing at the Biden's USA.
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+3 #3 Gugu 2024-05-31 03:04
Our very own Mary Antoinette.

Feel sorry for her. Swimming with sharks isn't so easy.
I believe all our beloved leaders have hundreds of properties spread across the globe but Well hidden with untraceable ownership.

Because theyre are from corruption not hard work.
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+5 #4 Marc Mae 2024-05-31 03:28
I wish more countries could join in. How about putting sanctions on M7, his son and most of his minister?
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+3 #5 Lakwena 2024-05-31 07:55
The cardinal principle of the rule of law, sic HONESTY is accountability. But in Uganda it is not the case.

If e.g., our "Problem of Africa", Gen Tibuhaburwa categorically told us off on 26th Jan 2017 that he is neither our servant nor employee; how can he be accountable (HONEST) to Ugandans who pay 100% of all his bills?

If e.g., the Americans can with precision, prosecute and convict their former president,Donald Trump over financial dishonesty (impropriety); who are the Among of this country to escape the American forensic financial investigation?

In other words, there is no smoke without fire. If Among and Co. are honest Ugandans, let them account for their sudden source of opulence.
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-2 #6 Fred G 2024-05-31 10:27
Why would the US sanction these people without the hand of the government of Uganda?

Its an abuse on sovereignty and shows disrespect of government.

But moreso the President shd take action on to keep the institutions in check and accountable to the people
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0 #7 Lakwena 2024-05-31 12:41
Quoting Fred G:
Why would the US sanction these people without the hand of the government of Uganda?

Its an abuse on sovereignty and shows disrespect of government.

But moreso the President shd take action on to keep the institutions in check and accountable to the people


But Fred G, even at a personal/individual level (thief); how can a country known only for corruption, dictatorship and gross violation of human rights deserve sovereign respect?

In other words, the UK, USA, UAE and many more sanctioning Speaker, Among; Cabinet Ministers and/or UPDF Generals, is an egg (indictment) on Gen Tibuhaburwa's face , being a very weak/corrupt leadership!
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0 #8 Lysol 2024-05-31 22:39
Sanctions don't work. Mere political gimmicks always used by the Western world to control other countries.
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0 #9 Munywi jFrancis Fred 2024-06-01 18:48
Quoting Lysol:
Sanctions don't work. Mere political gimmicks always used by the Western world to control other countries.

Quoting Lysol:
Sanctions don't work. Mere political gimmicks always used by the Western world to control other countries.


In the continent of Africa where thieves (the corrupt) are unpunishable and are a new "Black Death", and the destitute victims remain destitute due to circumstances (of theft) they are unaware are hurting their livelihoods and their very existance, - only sanctions can be a handy tool to bring them to order..
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