UK Lawyer Says Bobi Wine Pushed for Among Sanctioning

Labour MP Lex Sobel from Leeds North West disclosed that Bobi Wine, also known as Robert Kyagulanyi and the leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP), advocated for sanctions against the Speaker of Parliament and two former ministers. Sobel made this revelation on his social media platform, X, on Wednesday.

Sobel mentioned that during the parliamentary meetings with Bobi Wine, one of their objectives was to push for punitive measures against corrupt Ugandan politicians, including travel bans and sanctions.

He commended the UK Government for heeding the calls made by MPs and the Ugandan community.

Following his controversial remarks about homosexuality in 2014, Kyagulanyi has faced restrictions on entry and visas. On April 20, 2024, he organized a concert called "The Return of the Gladiator," sponsored by Jobs Link Events (UK), a UK-based promoter.

Given the limited opportunities to entertain his fans in Uganda, Kyagulanyi devoted significant effort to prepare for this UK concert, which eventually took place there.

After the concert, it is believed that Kyagulanyi engaged in discussions with various UK leaders to outline the plans of his NUP Party and strategically connect with Ugandans residing in the UK, particularly those in the business sector, to explore opportunities for advancing local investments.

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

This action signifies the first instance of the UK utilizing its sanctions regime to tackle corruption within Uganda.

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

The UK government asserted that Kitutu and Nandutu misappropriated thousands of iron sheets from a government-funded housing project intended to aid vulnerable communities in Karamoja. Among was found to have benefitted from the proceeds of the theft, according to a statement from London.

Britain's deputy foreign minister Andrew Mitchell stated, "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."

Both Kitutu and Nandutu are facing corruption charges in Uganda, and their cases are currently under trial. They were not immediately available for comment on the British sanctions.

Chris Obore, the spokesperson for Uganda's Parliament, claimed that the sanctions against the Speaker were prompted by UK discontent with Uganda's anti-homosexuality legislation.

"Uganda has regulatory, investigatory, and disciplinary institutions to address corruption, and none of them has found the Speaker guilty. Therefore, the corruption allegations are purely political and driven by personal motives," Obore remarked.

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 was unavailable for comment, but as of the article's publication, the NUP principal has not refuted Sobel's statements.

Instead, Mr. Kyagulanyi expressed gratitude for the decision, stating on social media platform X that he is always "grateful whenever the world responds to the cry of the people of Uganda."

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