Over Shs2b robbed from NRM treasurer was mine, not party’s - businessman

Busia District Kadhi, Sheikh Jamil Juma Obandyo (holding microphone) prays for Ms Barbara Nekesa at Masafu Town Council on Sunday, following an attack and robbery at her home in Kampala last December. PHOTO/DAVID AWORI

What you need to know:

  • The 4 am robbery has since led to the arrest of Ivan Lukungu, 26, a boda boda rider, who police say bought a new Toyota Harrier vehicle, opened a new restaurant, and married a woman using part of the money

Hajji Sulaiman Mafabi Lumolo, a Kampala-based businessman, says the money which was reportedly stolen from the house he shares with National Resistance Movement (NRM) party national treasurer, Amb Barbara Nekesa, belonged to him.

Over Shs2b was allegedly stolen from the couple’s home in Kyeitabya zone, Bukasa parish, Makindye division, Kampala City on December 15, 2023.

The 4 am robbery has since led to the arrest of Ivan Lukungu, 26, a boda boda rider, who police say bought a new Toyota Harrier vehicle, opened a new restaurant, and married a woman using part of the money.

According to Police, while 12 of Lukungu’s accomplices were arrested and remanded to Luzira, he had been on the run until his arrest in Masaka City last month by Crime Intelligence operatives.

But Mr Lumolo, Ms Nekesa’s husband, said that the money was his and that he had just received part payments for SUVs he reportedly supplied to the government and other organisations.

“I own a big car bond in Kampala which supplies some of these brand-new expensive cars to government departments,” he said on Sunday, adding that each car costs between Shs500m and Shs700m, and therefore, to raise that money, one has to sell “three or four (cars)”.

Hajji Lumolo was speaking at a thanksgiving organised for Ms Nekesa by residents at Masafu Town Council in Busia District.

He said that on that day, he had just been paid money for one of the consignments of cars supplied, but unfortunately, he left the money home because he “was rushing to catch a flight abroad”.

Hajji Lumolo, who is also the Sironko District NRM chairperson, added: “A vehicle does not cost the same price as a bunch of bananas; the cars which are in my bond are almost equivalent to the gathering at this congregation.”

Hajji Lumolo further said he decided to speak out and dispel what he described as “social media rumours” that his wife (Ms Nekesa) was holding party cash at his home, which was stolen.

He added that it was “good” that his wife gave the money to the robbers, otherwise, they would have killed her and blamed security guards deployed at the couple’s home for the robbery. “The robbery was organised and executed by the security detail deployed at our home,” he said.

Ms Nekesa, while recounting the attack at her house, said that on that fateful morning, she had woken up at 3 am, had a prayer, and later received a distressing call from her nanny, saying they had been attacked by armed robbers.

According to Ms Nekesa, whereas her home had security alarms, the siren didn’t go on, which surprised her, and she switched on her alarm, hoping to wake up her security detail, but received no response.

She further narrated that while she continued trying to set the alarm on, the nanny started raising an alarm, hoping to catch the attention of the security guards, but that, too, was to no avail.

Shortly, Ms Nekesa says she heard the door to the nannies’ room, where her last born was sleeping, getting smashed, after which one assailant reportedly got hold of the nanny and matched her to her (Nekesa’s) door and smashed it open “in less than five seconds”.

Ms Nekesa said the assailant, whom she described as “highly trained”, kicked her security-enhanced door once and it collapsed.

“Once the masked men were in the house, one of the robbers threatened to shoot me if I did not give them dollars, but an accomplice said they had been told not to kill me.

“As they picked up the money, I continued pleading with them not to kill me because I have witnessed scenes where a mobile money dealer is shot dead for Shs2m,” she said, adding that as the robbers made off with the money, she was shocked by how they had penetrated her home.

Ms Nekesa, who led the gathering in a song to praise God, says her survival from the armed robbers was because of God’s mercy.

The Archdeacon of Samia Bugwe Central, Rev George Stephen Nsoigo, said they were grateful Ms Nekesa had been protected by God from the hands of her enemies.

The Busia District khadi, Hajji Jamil Juma Obandyo, said he had been “misled” by social media reports that the money stolen from Ms Nekesa’s home was for the NRM party.

The district khadi later prayed for Ms Nekesa, whom he said had recently converted from Christianity to Islam.

While Ms Nekesa subscribes to the ruling NRM party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) attended the prayers.

Busia Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Michael Kibwika, said the attack at Hajji Lumolo and Ms Nekesa’s home was followed by “a string of fake news”.

Bugiri RDC, Mr Paul Kalikwani, said: “Ms Nekesa will continue to draw trust from the President”, while former State Minister for East African Community (EAC) Affairs, Mr Julius Maganda, said: “Ms Nekesa has contributed to lobbying for several projects in Busia District.”