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    MPs Demand For Kutesa’s Head Over Un $0.5M Bribe

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    By Otim Nape

     

    Pushed by legislators from both NRM and opposition side, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has agreed to undertake summary investigations ahead of a bi-partisan House probe into bribe allegations involving foreign affairs Minister Sam Kutesa. 

    Ntungamo’s Gerald Karuhanga was the first to take to the floor and Kadaga ignored resistance from Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana and permitted Karuhanga to table documents linking Kutesa to the USD500,000 bribe. Karuhanga tabled papers from the US court where Kutesa is named in one of the affidavits for having solicited the bribe under the guise of promoting his Charitable Foundation which the US court papers say actually didn’t exist.  Parliament was told that Kutesa would in return help the Chinese bribe givers, not on trial in the US, regularly meet M7 and obtain lucrative business deals. Karuhanga resisted hostile attacks by Rukutana who tried to defend Kutesa.

    The MPs who supported Karuhanga wanted Kutesa to defend himself on the floor, something Rukutana resisted prompting Busiro’s Medard Ssegona to remind him that his mandate as AG is to defend government and not individual Ugandans like Kutesa on matters where they are being accused in their individual capacity. Karuhanga was immediately supported by Theodore Ssekikubo who told MPs this is a very important matter since Kutesa did the alleged bribe solicitation as he served as UN General Assembly president representing Uganda. Ssekikubo said if Parliament doesn’t act, an impression will globally be created that Uganda officially endorses Kutesa’s alleged criminal acts. He dared Kutesa to travel to the US if he insists he is innocent.

    The MP implied Kutesa would be arrested immediately. Karuhanga silenced Rukutana his fellow Ntungamo MP by arguing that these are not mere rumors since Kutesa’s Ministry had come out to clarify and defend him rather than dismissing the reports out rightly. He also said the UN Secretariat had also taken note of the court proceedings and made a statement distancing itself from Kutesa’s personal actions during his one year tenure as the UNGA President. Kadaga, who seemed excited at the prospect of catching one more corrupt guy, silenced Rukutana who was dismissing Karuhanga’s submissions on grounds that he is procedurally required to bring a substantive motion.

    Kadaga said this was a matter of national importance and Karuhanga had a right to proceed that way. She said she needs the rest of the evening to study the matter and properly guide the country when parliament resumes tomorrow Wednesday. Medard Ssegona argued that it was irresponsible for Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda not to address the House disclosing steps the cabinet and government had taken to verify the claims against Kutesa whom he contemptuously described as “an incurably errant member of cabinet.”

    Karuhanga said he was vindicated because he had warned Parliament to be cautious of what Kutesa would use his position as UNGA President to do in New York during the 9th Parliament. Ssemujju Nganda announced he was notifying the Speaker and Parliament that come tomorrow Wednesday he will be tabling a substantive motion which he implored Rukutana to support since he was struggling to block Karuhanga simply because of what he called procedural impropriety. Ssemujju caused laughter when he humorously reminded MPs of the past experience whereby Rukutana appeared on the same charge sheet with Kutesa during the Chogm trial. Ssekikubo wondered why the President Kaguta M7, who rushed to fire labor Minister Kabafunzaki for chewing only 5m, was conspicuously silent over Kutesa’s bribery allegations at the UN which he said risks embarrassing Uganda before the international community. Segona said M7 had set precedence by firing Kabafunzaki and must subject his man Kutesa onto the same standards of propriety.

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    MY MONEY

    Minister Kabanda Panics As Traders Plan To Front Ssekitto To Battle Her For Kampala Central MP Seat…

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    KACITA'S Issa Ssekitto and Minister Minsa Kabanda

    Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) spokesperson Issa Ssekitto has confirmed that come 2026, he is pondering contesting for the position of Kampala Central Division Member of Parliament as an independent.

    Ssekitto revealed that his decision was based on the number of requests he has received from desperate traders who think that the only way to fight bad policies and laws made against them is to have their own in the parliament to argue their case.

    It should be noted that when traders met President Museveni in May 2024 at Kololo independence ground, they warned legislators in parliament who have been passing laws against them that they are going to sponsor their own candidates against them come 2026.

    They claimed that the legislators and other leaders who they showered with votes in the previous elections have betrayed them and it is high time they take over the country’s leadership.

    Sources inside KACITA told theGrapevine that Nagenda Musoke their chairperson also plans to stand for a Member of Parliament in one of the constituents in Mukono district.

    John Kabanda also plans to stand as councilor representing Kampala Central Division on the Lord Mayor’s Council.

    The traders insist that Kampala city and Metropolitan senior minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda has not helped them as a minister and accuse her of sidelining with their tormentors, especially the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

    Since 2023, Minister Kabanda has been conducting clandestine political mobilization to replace Muhammad Nsereko who declared that he is not going to contest in 2026.

    Because of Kabanda’s declaration, Bobi Wine’s elder brother Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu shifted his interest from contesting for Kampala Central MP Seat to Lord Mayor fearing that chances are high that Kabanda will defeat him.

    Traders want parliament to remove EFRIS and reduce taxes on commodities especially imported items.

    However, President Museveni assured them that his government will not accept their prayers because they are against the country’s development.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Bank Bosses In Trouble For Allowing Sanctioned M7 Gov’t Official To Access Money On Her Account..

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    L-R: Agnes Nandutu, Goretti Kitutu and Speaker Anita Among were all recently sanctioned

    The Western powers have kicked off investigation into allegations that bank bosses in Kampala allowed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s sanctioned government officials to access and use their financial services.

    Sources in one of the top banks intimated to theGrapevine that their boss has been summoned at their bank headquarters in the United Kingdom to record a statement detailing how the incident happened and why.

    Sources claim that this senior government official was informed early that President Museveni was briefed about her sanctions and when she asked her lawyers what the sanctions meant, they quickly advised her with immediate effect to rush to the bank and withdraw her money which she did.

    “She came herself and withdrew her money and went with it, but we don’t know whether our bosses were already informed about the sanctions,” a source said.

    This bank source narrated to us a scenario where the former Inspector General of Police Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura’s close relative was denied the opportunity to open a bank account in their bank on grounds that his father was sanctioned and their bank was not allowed to do any financial business with him.

    Recently, the State Minister for Lands Dr. Sam Mayanja revealed that retired High Court Judge Moses Mukiibi told him that because of the sanctions, he could no longer access his money in the banks.

    He added that they asked President Museveni to intervene.

    However, the judiciary last week issued a statement noting that Justice Mukiibi is receiving his retirement benefits as a retired judge.

    Veteran journalist Joseph Tamale Mirundi explained that western powers give a sanctioned official six months to clear whatever they have in their respective countries including repatriating their relatives from their countries.

    But Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, the National Unity Platform (NUP) deputy spokesperson said that the sanctions take immediate effect and all the money on bank accounts and properties of the sanctioned persons in foreign countries is frozen immediately when the sanctions are announced.

    Mufumbiro’s explanation was supported by a powerful security officer who told theGrapevine that recently, President Museveni posted one of his sanctioned security chief to one of the neighbouring countries; however this officer failed to access his bank account and when he tried to fix his ATM card into the ATM machine, it was swallowed by the machine and he immediately called Museveni pleading with him to withdraw him from the said country.

    Recently, the United Kingdom sanctioned Annet Anita Among the speakers of parliament, Agnes Nandutu the former State Minister for Karamoja affairs and Mary Goretti Kitutu the former senior minister for Karamoja affairs.

    Other government officials who were sanctioned include; Gen. Kayihura, Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho, Maj. Gen. Sabiiti Muzeyi, Maj. Gen. Don Nabasa and a number of others including members of parliament.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    MY MONEY

    Leaders Of Traders Panicking After M7 Directs Investigation Over Allegations Of An Invisible Foreign Hand Fueling Their Strikes To Sabotage Economy…

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    L-R: Some of the leaders of traders: Godfrey Katongole, David Kabanda and Thadeus Musoke

    Kampala Metropolitan Senior Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda has exclusively confirmed to theGrapevine that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the country’s intelligence organs and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to investigate the alleged invisible hand behind traders’ leadership.

    She explained that preliminary investigations have established that some leaders of traders who are advocating for endless strikes are biased in their decisions because there is an invisible hand pushing them with an agenda of sabotaging the country’s economy and creating an ungovernable situation.

    “We know whatever they are planning. Our people are on ground, so they should stand warned,” Kabanda said.

    She revealed that President Museveni was shocked to establish that in Kampala city alone, traders have more than 30 associations and each one of them has command.

    This has created suspicion and the need for an investigation to establish their true motives.

    The development comes at a time when traders are threatening to go into a two months strike without opening their shops in the city center if president Museveni doesn’t address their demands including the banning of the Electronic Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS).

    On 7th May 2024, Museveni directed Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to sit down with leaders of traders and sort out their differences.

    The President guided that once these leaders and URA agree, they should make a joint report which they should read to him and other traders on 20th of June 2024 at Kololo independence grounds.

    However, before that meeting, Minister Kabanda has disclosed that Museveni is set to meet leaders of traders in the State House to have some issues sorted out noting that government is doing everything in its power to make sure that what happened on 7th May 2024 never happens again.

    She explained that it was bad for traders to shout at the President and embarrass senior government officials to the extent of accusing some of corruption insisting that traders’ behavior sent a warning signal to government that there must be an invisible hand influencing and facilitating them.

    theGrapevine has established that the leadership of Kampala City Traders Association(KACITA) led by Thadeus Musoke Nagenda, Federation of Uganda Traders Association(FUTA), Katukazane Shoe Dealers, Kampala Arcaders Advocacy Forum, United Arcarders Traders Enterprenuers Association,  Uganda Needy and Squatters Association have resolved to join hands and strategise on how to come up with a common voice before the President.

    Highly placed sources in intelligence have revealed to theGrapevine that all eyes are on David Kabanda who is being investigated for working for some opposition bigwigs who promised him support in the coming elections.

    Sources said that Kabanda wants to become the city councilor on Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago’s council.

    However, veteran journalist and the Senior presidential advisor on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi advised Museveni not to take lightly statements made in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords that King Charles’s leadership should influence regime change in Uganda.

    He explained that the western powers are going to use all the available means to sabotage Museveni’s leadership insisting that there is invisible hand in traders’ frequent strikes.

    But a section of KACITA leadership told theGrapevine that there are people in President Museveni’s government who are facilitating the creation of endless traders associations with the aim of benefiting from them and fighting the unity among traders.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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