Court summons workers’ representative over fleecing Shs1.7b

The accused are expected in court late January 2022. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The summons add: "You are hereby commanded by the government to appear in this court on January 25, 2022 at 9am, and soon thereafter the case can be heard." 

Buganda Road Court Wednesday issued criminal summons against workers’ representative Mr Abdalhu Byakatonda and one other politician over allegedly fleecing a family. 

Mr Byakatonda is accused alongside Makerere University Councillor Micdad Muganga of defrauding $490,000 (about Shs1.74b) under the guise of selling unclaimed departed Asians property to the family. .

"Your attendance is necessary to answer charges of conspiracy to defraud, obtaining money by false pretense and personation," the summons issued by Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court read in part.

The summons add: "You are hereby commanded by the government to appear in this court on January 25, 2022 at 9am, and soon thereafter the case can be heard." 

The complainants are Mr Asuman Nkambwe, his wife Ms Jane Nambooze, their two sons, Mr Meddie Nkambwe and Mr Mansul Mbazira.

In the complaint’s oath made on behalf of the family, Mr Nkambwe states that “he and other family members wished to buy some property as a family, using family resources in 2019.”

“I was informed by my then-attorney, Mr Nathan Mpenje, that the Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board (DAPCB) had three plots developed with buildings to dispose of on Rashid Khamis Road and Martin Road in Kampala,” he claimed.  

Mr Nkambwe asserts that he was assured that the properties had been expropriated during the 1970s and vested in the government but their former owners had not legally repossessed within the time limited by law.

He explains that through the lawyer (Mr Mpenje), he and other complainants found that the properties were available for purchase.  

The complaint on oath notes that from July 31, 2019 to August 19, 2019, the family wrote to the DAPCB Divesture Committee and formally applied for allocation and subsequent purchase of Plot 37 LRV116 Folio 17 on Martin Road, Plot 23 Martin Road LRV 117 Folio and 34 Khamis Road LRV Folio 10 respectively- going by their lawyer’s advice.

The complaint alleges that Mr Byakatonda and Mr Muganga while posing as agents for the DAPCB demanded and acknowledged receipt of $490,000 as consideration for the purchase of the suit land, which payment was purportedly made to them at a building in Old Kampala, the same area where the suit plots are located.

The complainants who filed their case through their attorneys, Katuntu and Co. Advocates contend that they received letters from DAPCB temporarily allocating them the suit lands. Throughout 2020, the complainants say, they demanded vacant possession from Mr Byakatonda and Mr Muganga but in vain.

To the complainants’ dismay, they were informed by the duo that the plots on Martin Road belonged to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) as the accused advised the family to process a lease.

Mr Nkambwe claimed that he “paid Shs150m to Mr Muganga in presence of James Ssemango and his counsel Mpenje for the lease in respect of plot 23 Martin Road.”

The complainants’ current attorneys state that they have since established that Plot 23 was under DAPCB and not KCCA and that Mr Byakatonda and Mr Muganga not only forged all documents served to them but also claimed to be employees of DAPCB.

The family said it sought court redress “because they have lost huge sums of money, suffered mental stress and anguish.”