Speaker Among and Former UPDF Deputy Chief Elwelu Sanctioned by US

Posted on May 30, 2024
By Admin

The United States has imposed sanctions on Ugandan officials including Speaker Speaker of Parliament Anita Among and former Deputy UPDF Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Peter Elwelu.


“The U.S. Department of State is publicly designating five current and former Ugandan officials for their involvement in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights,” said the U.S. in a statement on Thursday.


"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.”


The U.S. is the latest western country after the UK to publicly impose sanctions against Ugandan officials.


Parliament recently said Uganda has “regulatory, investigatory, and disciplinary institutions that deal with corruption, and so far, none of them has found the Speaker culpable or even called out the Speaker. Therefore, the corruption allegations are as political as they can.”


Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said that the imposition of UK sanctions was a surprise to the Ugandan government given that the cases against the accused persons were uncovered by Ugandan government agencies, adding that the matters were still in court.


The Ugandan government further said the sanctions gloss over the fact that Nandutu and Kitutu remain under the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.


The Ministry said Among had not been charged by the Director of Public Prosecutions with any cases, and therefore it was not proper to be sanctioned.


Additionally, the U.S. designated Peter Elwelu, former Deputy Chief of the Ugandan Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), “due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights.”


Washington said Elwelu, while commanding UPDF forces, was involved in extrajudicial killings that were committed by members of the UPDF.


Elwelu commanded a force that stormed the palace of Rwenzururu King, Wesley Mumbere in which dozens were killed.


Government said it took action against a gang of armed guards at the palace which was committing crimes in Kasese including killing of security personnel.


“As a result of these actions, the designated Ugandan officials are generally ineligible for entry into the United States,” said Washington.


The Department said it was 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 U.S. Department of State said it was also designating Among’s spouse, Moses Magogo Hassim; Kitutu’s spouse, Michael George Kitutu; and Lugolobi’s spouse, Evelyne Nakimera; saying “they also are generally ineligible for entry into the United States.”


Source: Chimpreports 

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