KAMPALA – Judiciary officials, including Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, were two recently subjected to humiliating questions as they sought to travel to the United States of America while the Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana, was blocked from travel amid the continued fallout over sanctions.
PML Daily has learnt that Justice Katureebe was unusually subjected to several queries when he submitted a request for a Visa at the US Embassy in Kampala over two weeks ago.
Highly placed officials in the Judiciary have intimited to this website that Justice Katureebe and Mr Bigirimana submitted applications for Visas at the embassy as they sought to travel to Los Angeles for a judiciary conference.
However, the two officials were subjected to back and forth requests such as travel destination, marriage status, a thing unusual to officials traveling with the red passport.
Sources added that at one stage, the Chief Justice had to submit his marriage certificate to the embassy as part of the requirements.
The visa for the Chief Justice was even granted on the evening of September 20, just hours to the day for the flight due on September 21. Mr Bigirimana’s request for a visa was not even granted, leaving him shocked and disappointed.
The other judiciary officials who travelled with Katureebe include Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine, Justices Richard Buteera and Esther Nambayo
Asked why such high ranking government officials could be inconvenienced to such extent, sources said that the embassy officials were working with State Department in Washington who kept issuing instructions on who to travel, revealing that the Trump administration has already blacklisted several Ugandan officials for sanctions.
When contacted on Monday morning, Mr Bigirimana denied being denied a visa and said it had only been delayed by the US government. He also insisted that he is set to travel to the US in December and that there is no problem.
Judiciary spokesman Solomon Muyita said he was not aware whether the PS was supposed to be part of the travelling team. The judiciary team later attended the conference at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, Calfornia on September 25.
The development comes after this website reported that several high-ranking security officers and ministers in the ruling NRM government have been indicted by the United States for travel and economic sanctions while others are closely being monitored.
Two weeks ago, the US slapped travel and economic sanctions on former Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura over his alleged involvement in gross violations of human right.
And now sources have intimated to this website that as many as five senior army officials and ministers have been indicted by the US on a list that was signed off by President Donal Trump recently.
The list remains a privately guarded matter but sources have revealed that most of the named officials are those who in the recent past have been implicated in cases of money laundering, illegal exploitation of mineral resources, drug and wildlife trafficking.
The USA watch-list of potential inductees in Uganda includes several senior officers in police and security agencies and, some cabinet ministers, sources said.
Some military officials reportedly on the list are those accused of commanding military operations that have resulted in the death of civilians.
Sources privy to the matter have intimidated to this website that while President Museveni has moved to downplay the impact of the sanctions, they may have far-reaching effects on Uganda’s economy.
Responding to US sanctions on Gen Kayihura last weekend, President Museveni said no Ugandan will ever be handed over to any foreign powers or authorities for trial.
“Ordinarily, the USA does not communicate its investigations, findings or sanctions to individuals on their watch-list but it is until such a person attempts to travel there or tries to transfer money from the USA,” a source said.
Mr Museveni is now relying on China for military and other financial aid, a move sources said has rubbed the Americans the wrong way.