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Musumba''s OIC candidature hangs in balance

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th August 2013 02:45 AM

Government is considering dropping his candidature for a position in the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC).

Musumba''s OIC candidature hangs in balance

Government is considering dropping his candidature for a position in the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC).

By Moses Walubiri

Former State Minister for Regional Cooperation Isaac Musumba's chances of landing a big job with the Organisation of Islamic Countries hangs in balance. 

The government is considering dropping his candidature for Assistant General Secretary for African Affairs (AGSAA) in the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) according to Foreign Affairs officials.

In June, India's Supreme Court dismissed a case of extortion and criminal trespass brought against Musumba, Igara East MP Michael Mawanda and businessman Mathias Magoola.

For close to two months, the trio were entangled  in a delicate litigation after directors of Videocon firm, an Indian company they alleged owed them $37 million (Shs94 billion) in a disputed Ugandan mining deal, instead accused them to Maharashtra State officials of extortion of $20 million (Shs51 billion).

Now, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa shares the concerns of a section of legislators on the Foreign Affairs committee who contend that sticking with Musumba - though acquitted by India's justice system - might play into the hands of Nigeria which has also fielded a candidate. 

"Musumba was not convicted in India. To the contrary, he won the case," Kutesa said as MPs Wamai Wamanga, Stanley Omwonya and Hellen Asamo questioned the rationale of sticking with Musumba's candidature, adding: "We shall replace him with Ambassador Ahmed Ssenyomo if you think the damage is irreparable." 

"Yes, he was exonerated but his image is already sullied. His ordeal in India is all over the internet and the Nigerians must have got wind of it," Wamai said. 

Ssenyomo, a career diplomat, is currently Uganda's Deputy Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

The former Buzaya County MP initially got the endorsement of a string of African countries for the OIC Secretary General docket until Saudi Arabia decided to field its own candidate. 

Following high level diplomatic talks involving president Yoweri Museveni, Uganda, according to Kutesa, decided to withdraw Musumba's candidature with a commitment from Saudi Arabia to back Uganda's candidate for AGSAA. 

AGSAA is a new position expected to be created by OIC council of ministers in November and will be headquartered in Guinea Conakry. 

The fact that Saudi Arabia hosts and bankrolls most of OIC's programs, Kutesa said "it would have been futile to stand against its candidate because majority OIC member states would have been against us," Kutesa said. 

The OIC (formerly Organization of the Islamic Conference) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has membership of 57 states spread over four continents. 

The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world and seeks to safeguard and protect its interests in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world. 

Musumba''s OIC candidature hangs in balance

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