Otunnu: Kutesa Deserves a Fair Hearing

Sam Kutesa (R) at the UN Headquarters in New York

treatment geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>Otunnu came out this morning to decry the politicization of the matter in which Kutesa is being accused of bearing a grave corruption-marred track record and therefore undeserving of the top “world parliament job.”


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website like this geneva;”>Addressing press in Kampala on Monday, the UPC president noted that such allegations and concerns about one’s character are uncommon in the process of electing a UN president.

“Normally questions are raised under two exceptional circumstances i.e. when the regime from which the president is being picked has an odious track record or when the record of the individual brings into question the standing of the UN, which is being pointed out in Kutesa’s case.”

He added: “It’s important, however, that the allegations being put on him are analyzed and handled strictly on merit, and not politicized. This is not a government versus opposition political parties matter.”

Many opposition political leaders have already come out and vowed to block Kutesa’s appointment.

Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga claimed that the government was using back-door means to front Mr Kutesa whose name, he said, is mentioned in various scandals.

Theodore Ssekikuubo said they would oppose Mr Kutesa’s bid locally and internationally, adding that President Museveni should explain why he is fronting the minister when there are many Ugandans fit for the job.

Foreign policy

Observers say resistance to Kutesa’s new job would jeopardise government’s plans of enhancing the country’s foreign policy strategic objectives and visibility.

Hon. Kutesa will be “elected by acclamation” by the United Nations General Assembly during elections to be held in June 2014. There will be no ballots cast since the African Union Executive Council, composed of African Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs, unanimously endorsed Kutesa’s candidacy for President of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly for the period 2014-2015.

Observers say blocking Kutesa’s presidency is not likely in the near future but a campaign led by human rights activists could be aimed at discrediting Uganda’s reign at the world body.

If well utilized, Kutesa’s position could see the country’s international profile grow in leaps and bounds.

A politician and lawyer by profession, Kutesa has been in charge of Foreign Affairs docket since January 13 2005.

He has managed to sail through cabinet reshuffles of June 2006, February 2009, and that of May 2011. He was cleared of allegations of corruption in the award of contracts for executive cars for officials during the 2007 Common Wealth Meeting in Kampala.

Allegations that Kutesa received huge bribes from oil companies for fatty contracts in Uganda were found baseless by a committee of Parliament.


This position is voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on a yearly basis. The President presides over the sessions of the General Assembly.

Kutesa recently elaborated that such a position would “enhance the country’s Foreign Policy strategic objectives and visibility.”

He added: “This will be Africa’s turn to provide a President, and Uganda is competing with Cameroon. I have been nominated to fill the position if our bid succeeds. No doubt, membership to and aspirations in the above, place Uganda in the main stream programmes of the Union and enhances the country’s Foreign Policy Strategic objectives and visibility.”

The Minister emphasized there is also no doubt this places additional responsibilities to the country, in terms of financial resources.


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