Kampala- A Chinese medium has given a clue about the company on whose behalf a Chinese national allegedly bribed Uganda’s Foreign minister Sam Kutesa with Shs1.8 billion.
The bribe, by Chi Ping Patrick Ho, was allegedly meant to help the Chinese company to secure business advantages in Uganda.
The South China Morning Post reported on November 21 that although the company had not been identified, details point to China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC).
The report comes on the heels of reports the U.S Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York receiving a complaint against Mr Ho for conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Those convicted of the charges face five years in prison for each violation of the FCPA.
The South China Morning Post said CEFC is a Shanghai-based rising star of China’s energy industry.
“CEFC China Energy’s role was apparent in the formal complaint,” the publication reported.
“It identified the chairman of the unnamed company as someone who was appointed as a “special honorary adviser” to the president of the UN General Assembly in 2015, when Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa held that position.”
The South China Morning said that a Chinese media organisation’s report at the time showed CEFC China Energy Chairman Ye Jianming together with Mr Kutesa noting Mr Ye had just been named a “special honorary adviser” to the UN General Assembly.
“Mr Ye was labelled China’s “newest oil baron” by Forbes Magazine in 2016 after his company made a number of large investments in the Czech Republic.”
Noteworthy, too, going by information on the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Website, in July 2014, Ban Ki-moon, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, invited Ho to serve on his High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport.
“In March 2016, he was appointed a Member of the Multi stakeholder Advisory Group of Internet Governance Forum, to advise the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs reported.
According to the South China Morning Post story, CEFC China Energy has spread its business through Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Gulf states, rising in just a few years to be a major player in world oil markets and raising questions about its backing inside China.
The Chinese company that has of recent shown interest in Uganda is called Energy China, not China Energy.
According to one account, if CEFC in already active in Uganda, it might be dealing with a yet to be named entity.