By Max Patrico Ocaido
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has revealed that parliament of Uganda has no jurisdiction over legal matters in United States regarding bribery allegations levied on Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa.
During the Tuesday sitting, Kadaga said that she would on Wednesday rule on allegations that Kutesa, while president of the U.N. General Assembly allegedly received $500,000(about Shs1.8bn) bribe from a Chinese company- China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) to secure business favours in Uganda.
The matter was brought before Parliament on Tuesday by Gerald Karuhanga, Ntungamo Municipality MP who stated that the allegations against the nation's top diplomat had brought the country in disrepute.
As such, Kadaga promised to give a ruling on whether Parliament should look into Kutesa's behavior or not on Wednesday, but it wasn't until today that she made a ruling on the matter.
This was after MPs led by Gerald Karuhanga asked Speaker Kadaga to request minister Kutesa to make a personal statement on the floor of parliament about the allegations that they claimed are grievous and taint the image of Uganda as a country.
In her ruling during the Thursday sitting, Kadaga said it was inconsequential for Parliament to investigate that matter before a prominent court in U.S and asked MPs to wait for the outcomes of proceedings in New York before Parliament can take action over the matter.
"The case is in the U.S, if it was here [Uganda], we would have a commission of inquiry. So I hope members are not proposing Parliament to go and investigate in New York yet it is not within this august House's jurisdiction," Kadaga said.
In November this year, Kuteesa's name was cited in a court case of United States VS Chi Ping Patrick Ho (Hong Kong's former Home Secretary) where the latter along with Cheikh Gadio, a one-time foreign minister of Senegal allegedly bribed high-level African officials including Kuteesa who was then president, UNGA to secure business rights for a Shanghai-based energy and financial conglomerate in the oil sectors of these countries.