Embattled Among criticises govt for silence on her UK sanctions

05 May 2024

KAMPALA. Uganda’s troubled Speaker of Parliament, Anita Annet Among, has criticized the government’s muted response to the United Kingdom’s sanctions against her for alleged corruption. 

Among, who also serves as the Bukedea Woman MP, was singled out along with former Karamoja ministers, Mary Goretti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu, for travel bans and asset freezes due to their involvement in the iron sheets theft scandal. 

Despite the implication of several high-ranking officials in diverting iron sheets meant for the vulnerable people of Karamoja, only three ministers faced criminal charges, leading to criticism of selective prosecution.

During parliamentary proceedings, Among expressed frustration over the delayed government response to the sanctions, framing it as an attack on Uganda’s sovereignty rather than just herself. She hinted at being targeted due to her role in passing anti-homosexuality legislation but asserted her willingness to bear the burden for Uganda’s populace. However, some Ugandans, under the hashtag #NotMyCross, urged her to shoulder accountability without invoking the anti-gay law.

Amidst the controversy, Among emphasized Uganda’s sovereignty and urged the UK to respect its cultural values. She claimed innocence regarding the iron sheets scandal, stating she returned the disputed items upon learning of the investigation. However, her public image has suffered amid numerous corruption allegations during her tenure.

In response, Chris Obore, director of communication and public affairs, disputed the UK’s basis for sanctions, emphasizing Among’s lack of corruption charges in Uganda. Nevertheless, his response was criticized for its perceived lack of diplomacy, prompting Among to admonish the Foreign Affairs Ministry for its delayed reaction.

Despite bipartisan support for Among, some MPs called for Foreign Affairs to address the matter diplomatically. Others, like Asuman Basaliwa, acknowledged the UK’s right to sanction individuals but stressed the importance of respecting other countries’ sovereignty. However, Ssemujju Nganda questioned the necessity of a government statement given Among’s apparent indifference to the sanctions.

John Mulimba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed surprise at the sanctions and pledged to engage with British authorities while affirming Uganda’s sovereignty. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Ekanya proposed stronger diplomatic action, including possibly withdrawing from the Commonwealth, considering Among’s leadership roles in Commonwealth bodies.

Patrick Nsamba Oshabe criticized the handling of corruption allegations and questioned the targeting of specific individuals in the sanctions. The UK defended its actions as a deterrent against corruption, emphasizing accountability for those exploiting others.

Do you want to share a story, comment or opinion regarding this story or others, Email us on info@dailysecrets.net or ,Tel/WhatsApp........0726054858



Enter your email address below to subscribe to my newsletter