Kutesa’s message? U.N. General Assembly president meets Pope Francis Friday; made $30 million from U.N. through conflict of interest contract
Pope Francis is one of the most enlightened, wise, and tolerant popes in recent memory embracing women who have had abortions and gays; that’s why he’s one of the most popular and loved person in the world.
So why is he meeting the notoriously corrupt Sam Kutesa the Ugandan foreign minister, supporter of Uganda’s anti-LGBT law, and out-going President of the United Nations General Assembly when Pope Francis comes to New York this Friday?
When the Pope meets Kutesa Friday at the U.N. headquarters he should teach him the meaning of tolerance.
When asked by a reporter on July 29, 2013 about the sexual orientation of priests the Pontiff memorably said: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
This is a tolerant, loving and caring Pope.
On the other hand, here are 10 reasons why Kutesa needs a special lesson from Pope Francis:
1. When asked by a CNN reporter on February 24, 2014 what he thought about Gay people, Mr. Kutesa’s boss, Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s dictator of 30 years now, said they were “disgusting” and also in a press conference lasting over an hour said scientists should draw their blood to study their abnormality.
2. Sam Kutesa supported the anti-LGBT law signed February 24, 2014 by his boss, Gen. Museveni that calls for a life-sentence for members of the LGBT community and prison sentences for people who know gays but don’t report them to the police.
As a result last year 15,822 people from all over the world signed a petition demanding that Secretary of State John Kerry to revoke Kutesa’s U.S. visa to prevent him from becoming President of the U.N. General Assembly.
Months after he took over the U.N. post he referred to LGBT activists who had opposed him as “frogs.”
The law was only annulled on a technicality by the court in Uganda because Parliament didn’t have quorum and Kutesa’s colleagues have already discussed reintroducing it.
3. When the bill was being debated in Parliament an earlier version called for death by hanging for members of the LGBT community. Kutesa as foreign affairs minister and a member of Gen. Museveni’s “inner cabinet” and member of Parliament NEVER objected to the kill-the-gays bill which president Obama referred to as “odious“.
4. As a result of the homophobia sanctioned by Sam Kutesa’s boss, Gen. Museveni and his associates in Parliament, The Guardian reported in an article last year that attacks against the LGBT community went up by 10-fold.
5. Because of politicians like Sam Kutesa and Gen. Museveni, Uganda has gained the reputation as one of Africa’s most LGBT-intolerant country.
6. Last year in May before he took office June 11, several top U.S. elected officials questioned Kutesa’s appointment as President of the U.N. General Assembly because of his government’s anti-LGBT position which he supports. The elected officials included: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; U.S. Senator Charles Schumer; U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel; and, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
7. Pope Francis has been fighting global corruption, beginning from within the Vatican itself. Mr. Kutesa is reputedly one of Uganda’s most corrupt officials. He was censured by Uganda’s Parliament in 1999 for using his public office to enrich himself and threatening to harm Dick Turinawe the acting general manager of the now-defunct Uganda Airlines when he challenged Kutesa for stripping the company’s assets and changing signatories on the bank account.
8. Mr. Kutesa was implicated in the theft of millions of dollars of public funds allocated by government to host the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Uganda when $150 million went missing as reported by the BBC and for allegedly receiving millions of dollars in bribes from a foreign oil company seeking concessions also as reported by the BBC.
Kutesa’s daughter is married to Gen. Museveni’s son, Brigadier Muhoozi Kaenerugaba, his father’s presumptive successor, so no court of law in Uganda can successfully prosecute him.
9. In a U.S. embassy cable dated January 13, 2010 leaked by Wikileaks then U.S. ambassador to Uganda Jerry Lanier recommended that the U.S. revoke Kutesa’s visa and wrote that “We regard Kutesa’s corruption as egregious….”
10. Mr. Kutesa has a private company called Entebbe Handling Services (ENHAS) which won a contract with the United Nations in 2007 to handle cargo and luggage for United Nations peace keeping troops at Entebbe airport, several airports in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Juba airport in what’s now South Sudan. Mr. Kutesa never disclosed to the U.N. during the bidding process that as foreign minister of Uganda he was also an owner of ENHAS, which was paid $29.2 million by the U.N. between 2008 – 2013. Since the contracts was apparently won fraudulently due to the conflict of interest Kutesa’s company ENHAS should face disgorgement since some of the monies could belong to U.S. taxpayers.
After The Black Star News reported the nearly $30 million in payments to Kutesa’s company, the U.N. removed the pages listing all the invoices from 2008 to 2013 from its website.
Spokesperson Farhan Haq wouldn’t confirm or deny whether the deletion was authorized by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
When Pope Francis visits Uganda on November 27, hopefully he will get to teach the meaning of tolerance to Kutesa’s boss the dictator Gen. Museveni himself.
Readers can contact HE Ambassador Archbishop Bernardito Auza The Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations and ask him to remind Pope Francis to teach Mr. Kutesa tolerance by signing the PETITION or reaching the Holy See Permanent Observer via [email protected] or (212) 370-7885