President Yoweri Museveni received gifts and reelection support from a Chinese company that was seeking to gain business advantage in Uganda, an investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigations – FBI has found.
The deal was reportedly brokered by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, and his wife, Edith Gasana.
Kutesa reportedly sourced the support partly during his tenure as President of the United Nations General Assembly, during a visit to China in 2015 and subsequent correspondences that involved him, his wife and Dr Chi Ping Patrick Ho, the head of China Energy Fund Committee- CEFC, a Hong Kong-based NGO who connected them to the Chinese company.
During the visit to China, reportedly Kutesa held a meeting with an unnamed chairman of the company who promised that they were willing to avail a donation in support of the reelection campaign of the President of Uganda. President Museveni was due to seek another term of office, which he won in elections held in February 2016.
The documents seen by URN do not, however, specify the gifts and their financial worth. It is not also clear whether President Museveni personally received the alleged gifts. However, Sam Kutesa is reported to have received a bribe of 500,000 US Dollars– or 1.8 billion Uganda Shillings–for assisting the company to obtain lucrative opportunities in Uganda’s energy sector and connecting them to the President.
In agreeing to make the payment, the FBI report states that Dr Ho emphasised that the Energy Company expected assistance from the Ugandan Foreign Minister with respect to major projects, from infrastructure, energy, agriculture, to finance and banking in Uganda.
According to a sealed complaint that was presented to the United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York on Monday, Kutesa and his wife assured Dr Ho that President Museveni would meet with the said Energy Company on various projects, including the potential sale of a Ugandan bank to the Energy Company.