What started as United States’ travel restrictions against former Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura and other security chiefs has spread to other parts of government, the latest being Judiciary.
ChimpReports has learned that the United States government had refused to grant Chief Justice Bart Katureebe a visa to travel to Los Angeles, California.
Katureebe and other judges of various courts traveled this past Saturday.
However, by Friday morning, Katureebe had not be given his visa.
On inquiry, Katureebe was reportedly told by U.S. Embassy officials in Kampala that “we also don’t know why there are delays.”
For the entire last week, Katureebe was subjected to several queries by the U.S. Embassy officials who were taking instructions from Washington.
This investigative website understands that Katureebe, who planned to travel with his wife, was asked to prove his marriage.
Katureebe had to send a marriage certificate.
He got his passport later on Friday, just hours before his flight.
As if this is not worrying enough, on arrival in Los Angeles, Katureebe’s journey was delayed by 40 minutes as officials asked him several questions.
For the Judiciary’s Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana, U.S. officials refused to grant him a visa.
Contacted on Monday for comment, Bigirimana said he was unable to talk as he was “chairing a management meeting.”
Bigirimana was among the top judicial officials invited to attend the inauguration of Prof Jim Gash as the President of Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.
The actions of United States authorities against judicial officials have shocked government.
The development came just weeks after U.S. Treasury secretary slapped sanctions against Gen Kayihura, accusing him of corruption and human rights violations.
In a statement issued this past Sunday, Museveni described the sanctions as a “tragic farce.”
He said he was not bothered by Washington’s reactions.
“… the tragic farce of some American Authorities saying that Kale is not welcome to the USA. The latter is a farce because the Banyankore say: “Amaizi kugagyira gati otanyoga, naiwe ogagyira, oti naanye nagabwa ntaine nziro.” The translation is: “If a particular puddle of water says, ‘do not use me for your bathing’, you answer that water that you were not in need of bathing,”’ said Museveni.
A highly placed official told this website on Monday that Washington is targeting Museveni’s associates to weaken his presidency and intimidate security chiefs as the county braces for the 2021 elections.
The sanctions followed intense lobbying by opposition’s supporters in America, accusing Museveni’s government of alleged suppression of civil liberties.
Notably, Museveni has in recent years warmed up to the Chinese to fund his ambitious infrastructural projects, a move that has unsettled United States.
Trump’s administration has for the last few years been countering China’s expanding influence in Africa.
In 2018, Trump’s former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, said “the predatory practices pursued by China and Russia stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African nations; inhibit opportunities for U.S. investment; interfere with U.S. military operations; and pose a significant threat to U.S. national security interests.”
From 2016-2017, China’s foreign direct investment toward Africa totaled $6.4 billion dollars.
Bolton said over the past several years, China has devoted considerable state-directed and state-supported financing to projects in the region.
ChimpReports also understands that as President Museveni, 75, grows older, the United States remained keen on influencing political developments in the country to determine a successor who will serve Washington’s interests.
While U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac denies claims of supporting Bobi Wine for president, Washington’s attempts at regime change remained visible in Venezuela and South Sudan among other countries.
These political developments also come against the backdrop of failed negotiations with oil companies to start work on the anticipated oil pipeline. France’s Total E & P, China’s CNOOC and Tullow said the Final Investment Decision would be delayed due to the tax dispute with Uganda Revenue Authority.
Talk is rife in corridors of power that oil companies are using their networks in the international community to arm-twist Museveni’s government so as to secure good deals in the oil sector.