South Sudan

IGAD Warns S. Sudan Clashes Closing Window of Peace

Kenyatta meeting Kiir in Ethiopia on Thursday

Sacked Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is living in fear of being arrested and charged in courts of law for money laundering and attempting to overthrow the government.

Mbabazi has since directed lawyers A & P Akampurira to ask the Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura and Director of Public Prosecution Mike Chibita to grant him particulars of the alleged offences, order which he described as “politically motivated” and “trumped up” to curtail his “fundamental freedoms.”

Mbabazi was in September sacked as Prime Minister before being replaced by his childhood friend Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.

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The move followed reports that Mbabazi was clandestinely mobilising to replace Museveni as President.

On his return from the U.S.-Africa Summit, Museveni warned he would not tolerate any divisive forces – a veiled warning to Mbabazi whose supporters had already started protesting on Kampala streets.

Mbabazi was later forced to take leave by the NRM Central Executive Committee where members accused him of forming cliques, intrigue, backstabbing and undermining the party chairman for selfish motives.

By the time he returns from leave at the end of December, a new Secretary General will have been elected on Dec 15, according to the ruling party’s programme for the National Delegates’ Conference.

Mbabazi’s lawyers wrote on November 5: “We jointly act for and on behalf of our above named client. Our client’s attention has been drawn to various print and electronic media reports indicating that your respective offices are conducting criminal investigations against him in connection with some Arab investors associated with National Bank of Commerce with intent to charge him with trumped up serious criminal charges of fraud and money laundering which are politically motivated.”

Mbabazi lawyers' letter to Kayihura and Chibita

Mbabazi lawyers’ letter to Kayihura and Chibita

They added: “If the above is true, our client takes a very serious view of the matter. It is our considered opinion that this is a gross violation of the criminal principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and criminal law.”

Mbabazi is thought to have persuaded wealth oil barons in Dubai to invest $20m in NBC which was later closed by the Central Bank in 2012 and handed over to Crane Bank at the cost of $1.

“Bank of Uganda has revoked the license of the National Bank of Commerce (U) Limited and ordered the winding up of its affairs under Sections 17(f), 89(2)(f) & (7)(c) and 99(1) of the Financial Institutions Act 2004,” said BoU deputy governor, Louis Kasekende in September 2012.

“This action has been taken because bank of Uganda has determined that the continuation of NBC’s activities is detrimental to the interests of its depositors,” said Kasekende.

He further stated the management and the board of directors of NBC had been suspended.

“NBC will be closed until further notice by the Bank of Uganda. The BoU will shortly inform NBC depositors of the arrangements that will be put in place to enable them to access their deposits,” said Kasekende.

Chimpreports understands that the Arab investor complained to President Museveni about Mbabazi’s failure to disclose to him (investor) the financial troubles haunting the bank before he injected in his money.

The Arab investor further told Museveni that efforts to reclaim his money were futile as he was being “intimidated.”

Museveni urged Gen Kayihura to investigate the case and hand him a report.

Bad faith

Akampurira said in the letter to Kayihura and DPP that, “It is further our considered opinion that the manner in which the said investigations are being conducted is in bad faith; politically motivate to curtail our client’s fundamental human rights and freedoms and is intended to ambush him and subject him to humiliation and degrading treatment before the eyes of the public.”

The lawyers said, “In the circumstances, we are firmly and jointly instructed to demand that our client be granted full information about the said criminal investigations in order to enable him prepare his defence a required under the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. In the event that you opt to charge our client with any criminal offence before the courts of law, we have full and firm joint instructions to defend him.”

Observers say Mbabazi is likely to face a huge legal battle with the state as NRM prepares for the 2016 presidential elections.

“If he intends to stand for President, Mbabazi will not have time to campaign. He will spend the better part of his time in court answering charges of fraud, money laundering and possibly treason,” said a highly placed source who preferred anonymity.
The Heads of State and Government Summit of member countries of the Inter-Governmental Authority and Development (IGAD) have appealed to the United Nations to give the issue of peace and security in South Sudan, approved the fullest attention it deserves in order to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

The 2-day Extra-ordinary Summit that opened yesterday in Addis Ababa, stuff Ethiopia is being attended by leaders of member states of IGAD that include Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, Omar el Bashir of the Sudan, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and Somali Premier Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud.

The Summit that convened at short notice by the Chairperson of IGAD, who is Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr. Haile Mariam Desalegn, is consulting on the security situation in South Sudan.

This followed heavy fighting in the Unity State where hundreds of civilians and soldiers were killed and property worth millions of dollars destroyed.

While opening the IGAD Summit at the Grand Palace in Addis Ababa on Thursday afternoon, Desalegn strongly urged the warring parties in South Sudan to abide by the resolutions reached by IGAD Heads of State and Government in order to give  peace a chance to prevail in that country.

Desalegn, who thanked international partners for their support in the quest to restore sanity in the country, also hoped that the Summit would this time make a breakthrough for the restoration of peace in South Sudan.

The Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Ms. Dlamini Zuma commended IGAD for its tireless efforts to resolve the problem in South Sudan and called on both parties in that country to end the bloodshed.

The United States Special Envoy on South Sudan, Ambassador Donald Booth, on behalf of the international partners helping in resolving the impasse in South Sudan, urged leaders of that country to rise over the challenges they are faced with; warning that if not resolved they will become a tragedy not only for South Sudan but also for the whole region.

On his President Kenyatta appealed for a speedy resolution to the South Sudan conflict.

He urged the parties to shelve their differences and end the conflict that has caused untold suffering to the people of the Horn of Africa nation for close to a year.

“This conflict has to come to an end. We need to focus our attention and resources on development for the benefit of the people of the region but not endless conflicts,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta said that the stability of the Africa’s youngest nation was not only important to the people of South Sudan but was also crucial to regional peace.

The 28th Extra-ordinary Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government comes on the heels of a Consultative Summit on the Status of the South Sudan peace talks held in Juba last month.

President Kenyatta is attending the meeting in his dual capacities as Chair of the East African community and IGAD’s rapporteur for the resolution of the South Sudan conflict.



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