July 12, 2024
Kampala Daily

Kampala Businessman Jailed Over Forgery

Businessman Robert Twinomujuni has been charged and remanded to Luzira Prison over a fraudulent land transaction in Ntungamo district.

On Friday, Twinomujuni, 61, appeared before Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate Ronald Kayizzi who read out to him 10 counts of uttering false documents and conspiracy to defraud.

The visibly dejected Twinomujuni pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The businessman is charged alongside Samson Arinaitwe, the administrator of the land in question. Arinaitwe, 43, who is still at large is charged with 21 counts.

The land in question is comprised in Rwampara block 42 plot 38 leasehold register volume 3027 Folio 9 at Ruhama in Ntungamo district.

Immediately after the charges were read out to him, Twinomujuni applied for bail through his lawyer Maxim Mutabingwa.  

He presented five sureties including his brother Peterson Mwesigwa, an assistant lecturer at Makerere University in a bid to secure temporary freedom pending trial.

However, the prosecution led by chief state attorney Joan Keko asked court for four days to verify the documents presented in court by the sureties, prompting the chief magistrate to remand him until April 18, 2024.

Allowing the prosecution’s request for an adjournment to verify the documents, the chief magistrate observed that Buganda Road Court is faced with several cases of forged documents being presented by sureties.

“We have received a letter from a local council chairman denying knowledge of the sureties in one of the cases in which this court has released a suspect for bail. Unlike other courts, this court is faced with the problem of hired sureties. Therefore, the prosecution’s request for an adjournment is granted. The accused is remanded until April 18, 2024,” Kayizzi ruled.

Mutabingwa had protested the request by the prosecution saying it was not based on any law.  

“This practice of sending suspects to the prisons under the guise of verification of the security documents is not provided for under the law and it should stop because it is bad.

I have been hearing this but I am now seeing it. I started practice in 1994 but I am seeing a charge of things. When did the prosecution start verifying the documents of the sureties, I thought this is the role of the court,” Mutabingwa said.

In regard to the charges, Mutabingwa said they have been rushed in the pendency of a civil matter over the same land at Mbarara High Court.

He said that Twinomujuni allegedly bought the land in question at sh800m and that Mbarara High Court has since ordered for examination of the signatures in question by a handwriting expert.  

The charges

Prosecution alleges that between June and December 2020, in Kampala and Ntungamo districts, Twinomujuni and Arinaitwe conspired to defraud the beneficiaries of their beneficial interest in the land in question.

The beneficiaries of the land in question are Simon Nsekanabo, Winfred Musimenta, Richard Apollo Rutaro, Edith Busingye, Prudence Namara, Beatrice Kisembo Rugarama, and Betty Rugarama.

It is alleged that on February 18, 2021, at Ntungamo police station in Ntungamo district, the accused knowingly and fraudulently uttered a forged acknowledgment receipt of money from the sale of land purporting to have been signed by the beneficiaries whereas not.

The duo is also accused of uttering forged copies of the national identity cards for the beneficiaries in regard to the transaction.

Statistics from Buganda Road Court show that cases relating to forgery of documents in regard to land transactions have doubled in the past three years.

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