Some Members of Parliament have started a campaign aimed at discrediting Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa’s bid to become President of the United Nations General Assembly.
The legislators, Medard Sseggona, Theodore Ssekikubo, Gerald Karuhanga and Barnabas Tinkasiimire, say Kutesa is not fit to represent the country at the UN because of the scandals he has been involved in at home. The MPs were reacting to media reports that the government is fronting Kutesa and that Ministers at the East African Community have endorsed him to run for the Presidency of 68th UN General Assembly from September this year to 2014.
Kutesa is reportedly likely to compete with a Cameroonian candidate if Uganda’s lobbying efforts succeed. Kutesa’s candidature was reportedly endorsed by cabinet but Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kahinda Otafire told Parliament on Thursday that cabinet had not taken that decision yet. Kutesa was not in parliament when the matter was raised. Western Youth MPGerald Karuhanga claimed that the government was using back-door means to front Kutesa whose name, he said, is mentioned in various scandals.
Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo said they will move locally and at international level to expose what he called Kutesa’s dented image. Ssekikubo said President Yoweri Museveni has a duty to explain why he is fronting Kutesa for the position when there are many Ugandans fit for the job.
He says a person like Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, who was Uganda’s Permanent Representative at the UN for two years until 2011, would be better placed to serve at such a position. Busiro East MP Medard Sseggona said Kutesa’s candidature could embarrass Uganda. He says it could turn out like the Richard Kaijuka scenario when he had to be withdrawn from the World Bank because of alleged corruption scandals.Kutesa could not be reached for comment.
Technically, Parliament does not get involved in endorsing the candidature of such diplomats. The UN General Assembly is the highest organ of the United Nations.