There is a trending story on the trial of Hong Kong businessman, Mr. Patrick Ho Chi-ping that has been going in the federal court of USA in New York where he earned conviction on several counts.
Patrick Ho Chi-ping is alleged to have offered a bribe to NRM National Chairman, President Yoweri Museveni, ostensibly in a bid to influence him to offer wide ranging business favours to CEFC China Energy Co., a company the former purported to represent. Other officials are named in the scam which is alleged to have transpired from around 2014 to 2016.
It’s good that the court put Patrick Ho on trial and found him guilty, hopefully, in a free and just environment, because NRM National Chairman Museveni does not engage in or condone corrupt acts and especially not in the manner that Patrick Ho is said to have introduced because there are established official channels for investing and doing business in Uganda.
Mr Patrick Ho may have used his fleeting visit to Uganda to claim that he had substantial connections in the country and used the same claim to defraud CEFC-and perhaps others- for his own stomach and luxury unless there is evidence that he had other lawful engagements to attend to. There is no record of NRM National Chairman Museveni receiving favours under the circumstances named in the proceedings or elsewhere.
Further to that, CEFC does not hold any business interest or investment portfolio in Uganda as a confirmed in statement the company issued on its website on November 21, 2017. This fact is an obvious indicator that Patrick Ho sold his “clients”, purported to be CEFC, air since there was no deal he was honestly pursuing at the time he allegedly carried out his mission in Uganda. Patrick Ho himself denied the bribery allegations during the trail despite his subsequent conviction.
NRM National Chairman Museveni is an anti-corruption titan and patriot who has received numerous accolades in recognition of his effort including the most recent corruption fight award at the 25th anniversary celebrations of Transparency International, Uganda Chapter in recognition of his efforts held in Kampala.
If he was corrupt, he would not have led Uganda stably for over three decades. As a sign of his further commitment to the cause of anti-corruption, he is set announce new measures in the renewed fight against the vice. Any foreigner purporting to import corrupt tendencies in Uganda should be aware of local and international legal ramifications. But the allegations leading to Patrick Ho’s conviction may be part of a scheme to undermine Uganda’s leadership using blackmail and reputation sinking tactics with the Hong Kong businessman being a victim of circumstances.