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UK Sanctions Corrupt Ugandan Politicians Including Speaker Anita Among

UK imposes sanctions on Ugandan politicians including the Speaker of Parliament following corruption charges for stealing from the poorest communities in Uganda.

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UK Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell has announced sanctions on Ugandan politicians and the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, marking the first time the UK government has used the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions regime on individuals involved in corruption in Uganda.

The sanctions apply to three former ministers, Mary Goretti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu, who stole thousands of iron sheets from a Ugandan government-funded project aimed at housing vulnerable communities in the region.

The Speaker of the Parliament, Anita Annet Among, benefited from the proceeds.

“Today the UK is sending a clear message to those who think benefiting at the expense of others is acceptable. Corruption has consequences and you will be held responsible.” Andrew Mitchell, said.

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“The actions of these individuals, in taking aid from those who need it most, and keeping the proceeds, is corruption at its worst and has no place in society. The Ugandan courts are rightly taking action to crack down on those politicians who seek to line their own pockets at their constituents’ expense.” He added.

Terms of UK sanctions

The sanctions follow previous UK sanctions under the Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime, which has targeted individuals involved in serious corruption cases globally, including Bulgaria, Lebanon, Moldova, Russia, South Africa, South Sudan, and Venezuela.

Since its introduction in April 2021, the UK has introduced sanctions on 42 individuals and entities under this regime globally to combat corruption across the world.

An asset freeze prevents any UK citizen, or any business in the UK, from dealing with any funds or economic resources which are owned, held or controlled by the designated person and which are held in the UK. It will also prevent funds or economic resources being provided to or for the benefit of the designated person or entity.

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A travel ban means that the designated person is an excluded person under section 8B of the Immigration Act 1971, and must be refused leave to enter or to remain in the United Kingdom (any leave given to a person who is an excluded person is invalid).

Parliament’s rebuttal

The Ugandan Parliament responded by calling the allegations rumors that were prompted by the Speaker’s support for Uganda’s anti-LGBT* legislation.

“The iron sheets have been used as a ruse to conceal the real, unstated but clearly obvious reason for the sanctions, which is the Speaker’s stance on the recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act,” the parliament said.

The lawmakers also advised London to “respect Uganda’s sovereignty” and avoid “interfering in local politics, including arm-twisting decision-makers to align with their value systems, especially on homosexuality.”

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Since the Ugandan president signed a law that prohibits same-sex relationships and imposes the death penalty for certain related aggravated crimes, including engaging in homosexual acts with minors, Uganda has been criticized by Western countries and Western-backed organizations. The US, for instance, announced several rounds of visa restrictions for Ugandan officials involved in the enforcement of the law.
In early December, the US imposed a new package of sanctions on Ugandan officials involved in the law, which Ugandan Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem criticized, accusing Washington of pushing its LGBT agenda in Africa.

Under the UK’s Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regulations 2021, individuals and entities anywhere in the world can be sanctioned for their involvement in bribery or misappropriation of property involving a foreign public official.

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This could include those who facilitate, profit from or try to cover up serious corruption, as well as making efforts to prevent authorities from carrying out justice for these actions.

UK Aid was not involved in the Ugandan Government project.


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