US sanctions Speaker Among, Magogo among other Ugandan public officials

US sanctions Speaker Among, Magogo among other Ugandan public officials
The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among (Right), and her husband Moses Magogo.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The United States (US) has significantly mounted more pressure on embattled Speaker Anita Among, firmly sealing her political destiny with a robust wave of sanctions.

These latest measures have also impacted her husband and FUFA president, Moses Magogo, as well as the spouses of at least three other public officials who have been similarly targeted.

The Speaker Anita Among has once again been sanctioned, along with former Karamoja Affairs ministers Mary Goretti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu.

Additionally, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller announced that senior presidential advisor and former deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu has been added to the list of designated Ugandan officials.

Kitutu and Nandutu were sanctioned by the UK on April 30, 2024 for their involvement in the theft of relief items intended for vulnerable Karamojong citizens.

Former Minister for Karamoja Affairs Mary Gorreti Kitutu while in court.

The designation of Ms. Among comes less than 12 hours after she cited scriptures, asserting that the truth would exonerate her, and claimed that the UK sanctions and allegations of her wealth were politically driven.

The Department of State stated it was sanctioning five current and former Ugandan public officials for their roles in significant corruption or gross human rights violations.

Minister Nandutu sent to Luzira prison over Karamoja iron sheets
Former State Minister of Karamoja Affairs Hon. Agnes Nandutu.

“Speaker of Parliament Anita Among is designated due to involvement in significant corruption tied to her leadership of Uganda’s Parliament,” Mr. Miller said.

“Former Minister of Karamoja Affairs Mary Goretti Kitutu, former Minister of State for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu, and Minister of State for Finance Amos Lugolobi are being designated due to their involvement in significant corruption related to conduct that misused public resources and diverted materials from Uganda’s neediest communities,” Mr. Miller added.

Minister Lugoloobi sent to Luzira prison over Karamoja iron sheets
Ugandan State Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Amos Lugoloobi sits in the dock at the anti-corruption court in Kololo district of Kampala, Uganda April 17, 2023.

The US stated that all four officials exploited their public positions for personal gain, to the detriment of Ugandans.

Gen. Elwelu, according to Mr. Miller, has been designated due to his involvement in gross human rights violations.

“Specifically, Peter Elwelu was involved, while commanding UPDF forces, in extrajudicial killings that were committed by members of the UPDF,” he said.

Gen. Elwelu led one of the deadliest assaults on Ugandans during the attack on the Rwenzururu palace on November 26 and 27, 2016.

In this attack, at least 100 people, including 15 children, were killed, and King Wesley Mumbere was arrested.

Lt. Gen Peter Elwelu
Lt. Gen Peter Elwelu reiterated that the people who died during the raid on the Rwenzururu kingdom palace in 2016 deserved what they got.

The designated officials are now generally ineligible for entry into the US.

Also Read: Museveni asks Speaker Among to explain UK house ownership

“Today’s actions reaffirm the US commitment to support transparency in Uganda’s democratic processes, counter corruption globally, and address the broader culture of impunity that prevents all Ugandans from enjoying their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Mr. Miller said.

The US stated that these individuals are responsible for, or complicit in, the repression of Ugandan political opposition members, civil society organizers, and vulnerable communities in Uganda.

“Impunity allows corrupt officials to stay in power, slows the pace of development, facilitates crime, and causes unequal distribution of resources, which can affect underrepresented and underserved populations disproportionally,” Mr. Miller further added.

FUFA president Moses Magogo, Michael George Kitutu (spouse of Mary Goretti Kitutu), and Evelyne Nakimera (spouse of Lugolobi) are generally ineligible for entry into the US under the Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2024.