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Bobi Wine was behind sanctions against Speaker Among – UK lawmaker

Man Jose Kayima 

lex Sobel, the Labour MP for Leeds North West, has revealed that Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine and the leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP), lobbied for sanctions against the Speaker of Parliament and two former ministers.

Sobel shared this information on his X, formerly Twitter, account on Wednesday.

“During the meetings we held in Parliament with Bobi, one of our objectives was to ensure that corrupt Ugandan politicians face sanctions and travel bans,” Sobel stated.

He expressed his satisfaction with the UK Government for heeding the calls made by MPs and the Ugandan community.

Since his anti-gay remarks in 2014, Kyagulanyi has faced entry and visa restrictions. On April 20, 2024, he held a concert called “The Return of the Gladiator,” which was sponsored by Jobs Link Events (UK), a UK-based promoter.

Due to the lack of opportunities to entertain his fans in Uganda, Kyagulanyi invested considerable effort into rehearsing for this UK concert, which ultimately took place in the UK.

It is believed that after the concert, Kyagulanyi met with various UK leaders to discuss his NUP Party’s plans and engage strategically with Ugandans residing in the UK, particularly those in the business sector, to explore opportunities for advancing their local investments.

On April 30, the UK government announced sanctions against Speaker Among and two former ministers, citing their involvement in corruption.

This marks the first time that the UK has employed its sanctions regime to address corruption within Uganda.

Under the UK’s Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime, Among, Mary Kitutu, and Agnes Nandutu, the former ministers for the Karamoja region, will face travel bans and asset freezes.

The UK government stated that Kitutu and Nandutu embezzled thousands of iron sheets from a government-funded housing project designed to assist vulnerable communities in Karamoja.

Among was found to have benefited from the proceeds of the theft, according to London’s statement.

“The UK is sending a clear message that benefiting at the expense of others is not acceptable. Corruption has consequences, and those responsible will be held accountable,” said Britain’s deputy foreign minister Andrew Mitchell.

“The actions of these individuals, who took aid meant for those in need and kept the proceeds for themselves, represent the epitome of corruption and have no place in society.”

Both Kitutu and Nandutu have been charged with corruption in Uganda, and their cases are currently in court. They were not available for immediate comment on the British sanctions.

Chris Obore, the spokesperson for Uganda’s Parliament, stated that the sanctions against the Speaker were a result of UK dissatisfaction with an anti-homosexuality law passed in Uganda.

“Uganda has regulatory, investigatory, and disciplinary institutions that deal with corruption, and none of them has found the Speaker culpable. Therefore, the corruption allegations are purely political and driven by personal vendettas,” Obore said.

Since its establishment in 2021, Britain has sanctioned 42 individuals and entities under its anti-corruption regime, including those from Russia, South Sudan, and Venezuela.

Mr Kyagulanyi could not be reached for a comment but at the time of publishing this article, the NUP principal has not denied Sobel’s statements.

Instead, Mr Kyagulanyi said on X that he welcomed the decision and was always “grateful whenever the world responds to the cry of the people of Uganda”.

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