City tycoon quizzed over fraud

Friday October 23 2015


KAMPALA- A city businesswoman accused of fraudulently acquiring her siblings’ property has denied the offence before Buganda Road Court.
Ms Scovia Gatete is accused of taking advantage of her elder brother, Mzee Elistariko Rutajengwa’s illiteracy to cheat him and her young sister Josephine Tumusiime.
Appearing before the Chief Magistrate Flavia Nabakooza, Ms Gatete denied the charges saying she gave her siblings a share that she thought they deserved.

The property in question include; ZIBA House at plot 35 Nakivubo Road, Katorano House formerly known as Mabirizi Towers at plot 27 Martin Road and Savana apartments located at plot 24 along Mackay Road, all in Kampala.
When the prosecutor Ms Lillian Omara questioned Ms Gatete whether there were any forces from other family members and the business community that moved her to give her siblings their share, her response was that, at the time meetings were chaired, she had already given them (siblings) their portion.
However, being dissatisfied with what they received, they chose to bring their grievances to court.

In an affidavit before court Mzee Rutajengwa claims to have started a small scale business in his youthful days, where he sold plantains (matooke) in Nyendo- Masaka district that he could carry on a bicycle to different villages.
He states that he later acquired tenders to manage markets alongside his brother a one, Amos Mushirahamwe in the Masaka markets and at the time he was as well-paying school fees for his two sisters; Gatete and Tumusiime.
In 2006 when Ms Gatete graduated as a teacher from Makerere University he advised her to join him in business after he (Rutajengwa) parted ways with Mushirahamwe.
Mzee Rutajengwa contends that upon his sister Ms Gatete joining business, he started sending her a broad to purchase goods for the business given the fact that she was educated enough.

Later when the business in Masaka expanded they resolved to sell it off and established some shops in Kampala. They started a shop in Kikuubo Kampala as partners with a capital of Shs40million with Mzee Rutajengwa contributing Shs23million while Ms Gatete Shs17million.
Their sister Ms Tumusiime also graduated and they decided to incorporate her in their business as a partner. Ms Gatete was as well assigned the duty of handling the bank account which was opened up in her names on grounds of family trust as guarantee.

In 2010, however, the three partners were frustrated by Ms Gatete and agreed to separate business when she bought a car of over Shs120million without their knowledge.
In the affidavit, Mzee Rutajengwa states that Ms Gatete had bought him and Tumusiime vehicles worth Shs45million each. This was after a decision had been reached for each of the directors to own a new car.
Subsequently, they disagreed and called for several family meetings which were never successful thus the court suit.
The trial magistrate Ms Nabakooza adjourned the matter to November 17, for further hearing.