Inside Story! Why U.S Sanctioned Among, Magogo, Lugolobi, 5 More Ugandan Officials

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The U.S. State Department has imposed entry bans on Speaker of Parliament Anita Among and five other Ugandan officials due to accusations of significant corruption and gross human rights violations.

“Speaker of Parliament Anita Among is designated due to involvement in significant corruption tied to her leadership of Uganda’s Parliament,” the Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller said in a Thursday afternoon statement.

The other officials include; Ms Among’s husband, Moses Magogo; Minister of State for Finance Amos Lugolobi; former Minister of Karamoja Affairs Mary Goretti Kitutu; former Minister of State for Karamoja Affairs Agnes Nandutu and former Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Peter Elwelu.

These sanctions particularly highlight the alleged involvement of Kitutu, Nandutu, and Lugolobi in significant corruption, specifically related to the misuse of public resources intended for Uganda’s most vulnerable communities.
“All four officials (Ms Among, Ms Kitutu, Ms Nandutu and Mr Lugolobi) abused their public positions for their personal benefit at the expense of Ugandans,” Mr Miller added.

Lt Gen Elwelu was sanctioned due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights.  
“Specifically, Peter Elwelu was involved, while commanding UPDF forces, in extrajudicial killings that were committed by members of the UPDF.  As a result of these actions, the designated Ugandan officials are generally ineligible for entry into the United States,”  Mr Miller’s statement added.

He said the Department is also taking steps to impose visa restrictions on several other Ugandan officials for undermining the democratic process and repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations in Uganda.  

The said Ugandan officials allegedly are responsible for, or complicit in, the repression of Ugandan members of political opposition groups, civil society organizers, and vulnerable communities in Uganda.

“The United States stands with Ugandans advocating for democratic principles, a government that delivers for all its citizens, and accountability for actions committed by those who abuse their position through corruption and gross violations of human rights.  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 said.

According to him, the sanctions made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2024 (Div. F, P.L. 118-47)  reaffirm the U.S. 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.

The Department also sanctioned Ms Among’s spouse, Moses Magogo Hassim; Kitutu’s spouse, Michael George Kitutu; and Lugolobi’s spouse, Evelyne Nakimera; they also are generally ineligible for entry into the United States.  

“The additional steps to impose visa restrictions on multiple other Ugandan individuals are being taken under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act under the policy Secretary Blinken expanded in December 2023”
 

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