Top Ugandan Politicians Step Down Ahead of Graft Hearing

Posted October 12th, 2011 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Uganda's foreign affairs minister and two other ruling party officials have stepped down ahead of a hearing on graft charges brought against them.

Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, Junior Labor Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana and parliamentary leader John Nasasira resigned Wednesday, the day before their scheduled appearance before an anti-corruption court.

The three are expected to be charged with abuse of office and causing financial loss to the government. The men have been implicated in the disappearance of nearly $5 million from government coffers in 2007, when Uganda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

The suspects released a joint statement vowing to prove their innocence. They said they stepped down to allow the court to complete its work and in the interest of the government and its ruling party.