Kampala businessman jailed over forgery

Robert Twinomujuni, a businessman, has been remanded to Luzira Prisons after being charged with forgery of a land sale agreement. PHOTO/ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • Police suspends its Land Protection Unit boss following disputed sale of land reportedly belonging to relatives of high-profile leaders from Ruhama constituency, Ntungamo District, over which staff at the Administrator General’s office are also being investigated. 

A renowned city businessman Robert Twinomujuni has been remanded to Luzira Prisons after being charged with forgery of a land sale agreement in the south-western Ntungamo District.

Mr Twinomujuni, who owns properties in the capital Kampala, was indicted at Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court on Friday following his arrest and detention at the Central Police Station (CPS) in Kampala.  

He faces additional charges of uttering a false document and forgery of acknowledgement of receipt of money from the land sale agreement as well as forgery of national Identity cards.

He is co-accused with 43-year-old Samson Arinaitwe, a self-employed resident of Nyakahita Cell in Kigongi Ward, Central Division in municipality of Kabale, which neighbours Ntungamo to the south.
The state reported that Arinaitwe was still at large.

In court on Friday, presiding Chief Magistrate Ronald Kayizzi remanded Twinomujuni until Thursday, this week, when he will reappear for the hearing and determination of his bail application.

Defence lawyers had presented five sureties, but prosecution led Ms Joan Keko asked for at least four working days to authenticate particulars of the sureties and the documents they presented.  

“Your worship, the defense has overwhelmed us with documents that we need to speak authoritatively to,” Ms Keko submitted, “When one furnishes a letter from the Local Council (LC) [leadership], it is not [a] gospel truth. [So], we need to verify.”

She added: “We have come across forged documents. We request for a few days to verify. Since they (sureties) are in Kampala, we shall not take long. We pray for at least up to Thursday.” 

However, defence attorney Max Mutabingwa objected, reasoning that the state had no legal basis for its request and that the time sought to verify particulars of the sureties and their documentation was unjustified.

He counter-argued that prosecution was “playing with the freedom of an individual”, in this case the accused, demanding that his client be released on bail.

The businessman, Twinomujuni, had cited ill-health among reasons for seeking to be freed on bail.
Court also heard that the charges against the accused were already pending before the Mbarara High Court, a circuit which covers Ntungamo where the alleged crime was committed.

After listening to both parties, Chief Magistrate ruled that:
“This court has heard so many cases of professional sureties. Considering the nature of the case and the counts (charges), I find it fair and just that the state be given the four working days to verify the documents presented and all the adjournments.”

Monitor understands that the suit land reportedly belongs to relatives of high-profile leaders from Ruhama constituency in Ntungamo District, prompting police to suspend its Land Protection Unit boss on allegations of mismanaging the dispute. 

The law enforcement agency has opened separate investigations into any role played by staff at the Office of the Administrator General. 

Specifics of charges 

The charge sheet shows that on June 16, 2020 in Kampala District, Samson Arinaitwe forged a land sale agreement dated June 6, 2020 in respect of leasehold land comprised at Rwampara Block 42, Plot 38, in Ntungamo District’s Ruhama constituency. 

That he purported to make the agreement in his capacity as the administrator of the said land and forged signatures of Simon Nsekanabo, Winfred Musimenta, Richard Apollo Rutaro, Edith Busingye, Prudence Namara, Beatrice Kisembo Rugarama and Betty Rugarama.

The state alleges that on February 18, 2021 at Ntungamo Police Station in Ntungamo District, Arinaitwe and Robert Twinomujuni knowingly and fraudulently uttered a false document; to wit, a forged sales agreement dated June 6, 2020 purporting to have been signed by Nsekanabo, Musimenta, Rutaro, Busingye, Namara, Kisembo and Rugarama.

It is alleged that between the months of June and December 2020 in the districts of Kampala, Ntungamo and Kabale, Arinaitwe and others still at large forged acknowledgement of receipt of money purporting that Kisembo, Nsekanabo, Musimenta, Namara, Rugarama and Rutaro received proceeds from the sale of land comprised in Rwampara  whereas not.

The state further alleges that Arinaitwe forged national Identity cards of Kisembo, Nsekanabo, Musimenta, Namara, Rugarama and Rutaro.

Prosecution avers that between June and December 2020, in Kampala and Ntungamo districts, Arinaitwe and Twinomujuni conspired together to defraud Namara Prudence and others of their beneficial interest/share on land comprised in Rwampara Block 42 plot 42, leasehold register volume 3027, Folio 9, for land in Ruhama, Ntungamo District.