Analysis: M7 Faces Baptism Of Fire Over Kutesa trial

illness helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>The summoning of powerful untouchables in President Yoweri Museveni’s government by anti-corruption court to answer charges of corruption could spark a tsunami in all corners of the country.

The all-powerful Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kahamba Kutesa, Labour Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana and knifed Works Minister Sam Nasasira received orders from the court’s chief Magistrate Irene Akankwasa to appear on October 13 for trial.

The IGG says the officials, while performing their duties, in abuse of authority, irregularly convened a consultative cabinet meeting and resolved that government would fully fund the construction cost of the drive ways, parking areas and marina at Speke Resort Munyonyo hotel, which decision caused the government a loss of Shs14 billion.

Informed sources say Kutesa is very happy with the summons as they would prove his innocence. A source says Kutesa is indeed innocent. But trouble is looming for Rukutana and Nasasira, whom sources say, dipped their hands in the till.

The summons could spark animosity in the first family as it would portray President Museveni as sacrificing its lovely member Kutesa in the so-called crusade against corruption. Kutesa’s fallen wife Jennifer was cousin to Janet Museveni while his daughter Charlotte is married to first son Keinerugaba Muhoozi.

The complex web of relations, power, politics and loyalty could be hard for Museveni to disentangle. Already, the jailing of former VP Gilbert Bukenya was received with tribal tirades that he was being persecuted for being a muganda. But the trial of the trio could sweep this notion under the carpet.

Museveni stands the risk of losing on three fronts. One: the loyalty of his longtime comrades like Kutesa. Two: funding of party activities and three: their goodwill to the survival of NRM.

“Taking Kutesa to jail is unthinkable. He is a man who knows nothing apart from comfort. Since the 1970s, Kutesa has never smelt dust or dirt. He is used to air conditioned cars, mansions and offices,” said a political observer.

Kutesa is said to have solely funded the NRM delegates’ conference last year at Namboole at the tune of shs20bn.

As all this happens, word in official circles is that Premier Amama Mbabazi is behind this entire circus.

You will recall that wikileaks revealed last year that Mbabazi’s daughter Nina Mbabazi Rukikaire once told US diplomats that a clique led by Kutesa intended to bring down her father’s plan of succeeding Museveni.

Observers say the political cat-and-mouse chase is at play and matters have been worsened by succession wars.

Mbabazi, it’s rumored intends to “politically disarm” all his potential rivals that could stage a challenge against his presidential ambitions.

You will note that IGG Raphael Baku worked as Mbabazi aide in several portfolios while Minister of defence and Attorney general. It’s feared Mbabazi is employing the whims of his henchman leading the corruption onslaught to neutralize his future rivals.

On the part of Nasasira, sources say he is a spent force. His name has been tainted with corruption but his wealth is what no sane Ugandan can overlook.

His wealth is estimated at shs200bn.

In a meeting last year at State House, Janet told off Nasasira: “Every day you come hear asking for funds. We give you all the money you want but everywhere I go I find potholes. Why?”

We are told the firing of Nasasira was spearheaded by Janet. It’s likely that Nasasira is facing charges simply because the presidential aspirants intend to “assure” him of serious consequences once he opposed Mbabazi’s presidency.

For Rukutana, a lot has been said. There are rumors that he has been the arch broker of deals involving Bank of Uganda and tycoon Hassan Bassajabalaba.

Other low ranking officials named in the saga are already sweating fear.

All in all, the powerful officials have one common might –money. With sacks of money, these government officials will have to determine the outcome of the trial.

And whether this is sham trial engineered for Bukenya’s persecution, time will tell.

But it would be laughable for one to imagine that they won’t fight back and Museveni could lose the only holders of his power base simply to please the majority Ugandans in his new “war” against corruption.

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