KAMPALA, (Reuters) – Uganda on Wednesday denied its foreign minister had engaged in corrupt activities with a Hong Kong man who has been charged with bribery and other violations by U.S. authorities.
Chi Ping Patrick Ho, 68, who heads the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), a charity based in Hong Kong and the U.S. state of Virginia, was charged with violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Ho was accused of among other issues of being involved with bribes and promises of other benefits to Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s foreign affairs minister, in exchange for promises of business contracts for an unnamed Chinese firm.
Kutesa is also a former president of the U.N. General Assembly.
The Ugandan foreign ministry said the “interaction and engagement” that Kutesa had with Ho was “in fulfilment of his official functions as president of the U.N. General Assembly”.
“It is therefore erroneous to insinuate or infer that Hon. Sam Kutesa, from references made to him and CEFC…is linked to the bribery allegations,” a statement said.
Ho’s attorney has declined to comment to Reuters on the charges.