Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | On Friday, the United States Treasury Department announced visa and economic sanctions against former Inspector General of Police (IGP) General Kale Kayihura.
The US used the Global Magnitsky Act 2016 to attach his property. The law, named after a Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky who was killed in Russia for exposing tax fraud, allows the USA to place sanctions on any ground, company or individual around the world they deem to be corrupt and abuser of human rights.
It is not yet clear if Kayihura owns properties in the US and how much money he has in the US banks.
But what do the sanctions mean for Kayihura?
According to Human Rights Watch, the sanctions deny individuals entry into the US, allow the seizure of any of their property held in the country, and prevent them from entering into transactions with large number of banks and companies.
The banks will be required to block any money sent to Kayihura.
Both American and non-American firms but with subsidiaries in the United States will have to look at Kayihura and his companies suspiciously.
If Kayihura wants to do a transaction with a company that is not from USA but has subsidiaries in the US, the company is likely to reject such transaction. This is done mainly not to damage their image with the USA. They may also be accused of violating US sanctions.
According to the US Treasury Department, when one’s properties are frozen, the department takes control of the targeted property.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which is a financial intelligence and enforcement agency of the US Treasury Department, takes charge. This is where Kayihura accounts and properties will fall.
The Treasury Department says the title to the blocked property remains with the target – in this case Kayihura – but the exercise of powers and privileges normally associated with ownership is prohibited without authorization from OFAC.
“Blocking immediately imposes an across-the-board prohibition against transfers or dealings of any kind with regard to the property,” it says on its website.
Sanctions are purposefully put to cause financial difficulties to the target individual.
For the case of Kayihura, they may be unilateral but countries friends to the US decide to implement them to show they agree with their friend.