Sam Kutesa

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Sam Kutesa
Ugandan Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa.jpg
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Assumed office
16 September 2014
Preceded by John William Ashe
Succeeded by Mogens Lykketoft (Elect)
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda
In office
13 January 2005 – 16 September 2014
Preceded by Tom Butime
Personal details
Born (1949-02-01) 1 February 1949 (age 66)
Citizenship Uganda
Spouse(s) Jeniffer Nankunda Kutesa
Residence Nakasero, Uganda
Alma mater Makerere University
(Bachelor of Laws)
Law Development Centre
(Diploma in Legal Practice)
Occupation Lawyer & Politician
Known for Politics
Religion Anglican

Sam Kahamba Kutesa (born 1 February 1949) is a Ugandan lawyer and politician. He is the current president of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Ugandan Cabinet, a position he has held since 13 January 2005 and has maintained through two cabinet reshuffles.[1][2] He is also the elected Member of Parliament (MP) for "Mawogola County", Sembabule District.[3]


Kutesa is a close associate of President Yoweri Museveni and was previously the Minister of State for Investment, from 2001 until 2005. In 2011, Kutesa was accused in a Parliamentary investigation of receiving bribes as kickbacks from Irish oil firm Tullow Oil.[4] Despite calls from MPs for him to resign along with the others accused, a lawyer, Severino Twinobusingye, managed to successfully sue the Attorney General and halt the proceedings and to block the calls for resignation.[4] Following further suspicion around the incident as a result of Tullow Oil’s court case with Heritage Oil over its tax on Uganda assets, an ad-hoc parliamentary committee was convened to further investigate the allegations of corruption.[5][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born on 1 February 1949. Sam Kutesa holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws, obtained from Makerere University, back when the institution was part of the University of East Africa. He also holds the Diploma in Legal Practice, obtained from the Law Development Centre in Kampala. [3]


From 1973 until 2001 Sam Kutesa was in private law practice. He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Mbarara North Constituency, between 1980 until 1985 in then General Tito Okello Lutwa government. He served as Attorney General between 1985 and 1986. Between 1994 and 1995, he served as a delegate to the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1995 Ugandan Constitution. He was elected MP for Mawogola County in 2001 and was re-elected in 2006. He is the current incumbent. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni appointed Sam Kutesa as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2005.[8] Kutesa had been State Minister for Investments and took over the Foreign Ministry following the death of James Wapakhabulo.[3]

United Nations General Assembly[edit]

As Africa was due to hold the presidency of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, the African Union Executive Council unanimously chose him to be their candidate after the withdrawal of Cameroonian Foreign Minister Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo. His candidature was also unanimously endorsed during the 17th Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in Algiers, Algeria, in May 2013.[9] He was officially elected by the UNGA on 11 June 2014.[8]

Since Sam Kutesa defended the discriminatory Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014, human rights organizations felt Sam Kutesa's U.N. presidential position was not supportive of the values embodied in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[10]

A petition asked Secretary of State John Kerry to revoke Sam Kutesa's visa and thereby keep HIM from assuming the role of the president of the United Nations.[11] The petition, written by a Ugandan, Milton Allimadi, editor of Black Star News, highlighted Kutesa's support of the Ugandan anti-gay bill and allegations of corruption. In spite of protests and the petition, Sam Kutesa became the U.N. president of the sixty-ninth session.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He is a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement political party. Sam Kutesa married Jeniffer Nankunda Kutesa and had six children with her. He now has thirteen grand children.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Newvision Archive, . (18 February 2009). "Full Cabinet List As At 18 February 2009". New Vision (Kampala).  Text "" ignored (help);
  2. ^ Uganda State House, . (27 May 2011). "Comprehensive List of New Cabinet Appointments & Dropped Ministers". Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c POU, . (2011). "Profile of Kutesa Kahamba Sam, Member of Parliament for Mawogola County, Ssembabule District". Parliament of Uganda (POU). Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Administrator, . (27 February 2013). "MPs Protest Shs12.9 Billion Reward To Amama Lawyer". Red Pepper (newspaper) (Mukono). Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Walusimbi, Deo (10 December 2013). "Oil Bribes: Why Mbabazi, Kutesa Were Exonerated". The Observer (Uganda). Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Mutaizibwa, Emma (27 March 2013). "Uganda: Museveni 'US$50 Million Bribe' - The Inside Story". The Observer (Uganda) via 
  7. ^ Mwenda, Andrew M. (28 March 2013). "Tullow’s Alleged Bribe To Museveni". The Independent (Uganda). Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Bryant, Nick (11 June 2014). "Uganda's Sam Kutesa Elected As UN General Assembly President". BBC News. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Odyek, John (30 May 2013). "Sam Kutesa Heads for UN Top Job". New Vision Mobile (Kampala). Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Pilkington, Ed (31 May 2014). "UN Backlash As Uganda's 'Anti-Gay' Minister Heads for Human Rights Top Job". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Allimadi, Milton (30 April 2014). "Why Uganda's Sam Kutesa Must Not Be Allowed to Become UN General Assembly President". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 

External links[edit]