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Tuesday, 8 February, 2000, 12:46 GMT
Fraudster mayor eyes Uganda's presidency

The former mayor of Kampala who served a jail term for fraud in the United States has announced his intention to run for the Ugandan presidency.


I've been a politician and at the same time a businessman
Al Hajj Nasser Sebaggala
Al Hajj Nasser Sebaggala received a hero's welcome when he returned to Uganda last week.

He said previously he had combined his duties as a politican with being a businessman.

"Now I'm going to concentrate on being a wholesale politician which means I'm going to be fulfilled all the time as a politician," he added.


Al Hajj Nasser Sebaggala Al Hajj Nasser Sebaggala: Mayor for two months
Uganda's presidential elections are scheduled for next year.

Ugandan law forbids people who have been convicted of criminal offences from standing for political office.

But Sebaggala said he would not let this stand in his way.

"The law we have here does not concern laws outside the country," he said.

Declares innocence

He also said he was innocent of the eight counts of fraud and of lying to US customs officials which earned him an 15-month jail sentence in 1998.


Yoweri Museveni President Museveni is promised a challenger in the next election
"I'm still appealing my case and the verdict is not yet out. So I'm feeling I'm going to win the case," he said.

Sebaggala said he would seek the endorsement of the opposition Democratic Party before standing for the presidency.

Party-political campaigning for the presidency is currently illegal in Uganda, but a referendum later this year will gauge whether voters favour the introduction of a multi-party system.

Popular mayor

Sebaggala was arrested in New York in June 1998, after serving only two months as mayor.

He was sentenced to 15 months in prison in February last year.

The US authorities said Sebaggala had been paroled in December, but his deportation had been delayed for administrative reasons.

He became the first directly elected mayor of Kampla in 1998, by beating two government-backed candidates.

Several of his supporters who welcomed him on his return said they admired him because he had taken money from rich countries and brought it back to Uganda.

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See also:
03 Feb 00 |  Africa
Kampala welcomes fraudster ex-mayor

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