State minister for Regional Affairs, Okello Oryem has told Parliament that Sam Kutesa is still a substantive minister and that there is neither criminal summons nor arrest warrant charged on him.
On Tuesday, Members of Parliament turned blame on Minister Sam Kutesa for provoking United Nations (UN) to transfer UN Regional Service Center (RSC) in Entebbe to Kenya because of his alleged criminal records while serving as UN Secretary General.
“Hon Sam Kutesa remains the minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda. He has got the full confidence of the President of Uganda and he is at the moment in a state visit with the President [Museveni] in Cairo and is scheduled for four other visits with the President in this year. To the best of my knowledge, there is no criminal summons, no warrant of arrest requesting Hon Kutesa to report to any jurisdiction of America,” Oryem said.
He added, “The US Embassy has in no occasion refused an application or withdrawn the Visa of Minister Sam Kutesa to travel to USA. Hon Kutesa remains free to travel to USA without impediments.”
On Tuesday, Aruu South MP Odonga Otto asked government to come out clearly to explain if Kutesa has truly been banned from travelling to western countries and if possible have him replaced with a new minister who will push for the interests of Ugandans.
“We have information that there is a pending arrest warrant on Hon Kutesa in all the major capitals of Europe. Am not surprised he is in Cairo. He is just loitering around Africa because he can’t step in Europe. We want government to tell us if the minister of foreign affairs is free to move around the world because we may be dealing with someone who is handicapped. We want to know so that if it is really true that there is an arrest warrant on him [Kutesa] then we could even hand him over to UN,” Otto said.
In November last year, Kutesa was implicated by the US court in New York for allegedly soliciting a bribe amounting to $500,000 (about Shs1.8 billion) in exchange for obtaining “business advantages” for a Chinese energy company while he served as president of the U.N. General Assembly from 2014 to 2015. There have also been allegations that UN had banned him from travelling to any country in Europe over the same bribery allegations.