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Buganda royals on the run over sh200m land fraud

By Chris Kiwawulo

Added 19th July 2016 05:31 PM

The two fraudulently sold 103 acres of land

Two Buganda royals are on the run for allegedly fraudulently receiving sh200m purportedly as payment for sale of 100 acres of land in Luweero district.

This was after court issued a warrant of arrest against the 25-year-old Namasole of Kanyanya, Magdalena Ndibalekera, together with her relative, Denis Sempebwa, 38.

The two sold 103 acres of land to a one Shamim Birungi in December 2015 at sh200m, but they allegedly made it difficult for her (Birungi) to access the land and have it transferred into her name.

New Vision has learnt that another suspect, Godfrey Bugoba, 50, has since been arrested, charged and remanded to Butuntumula Prison.  Documents show that Bugoba is Ndibalekera’s father.

According to the arrest warrants issued by the Luweero magistrate’s court on June 10, the accused face charges of obtaining money by false pretence contrary to section 305 of the Penal Code.

Following the arrest warrants, the Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura, on June 20 wrote to the Luweero district police commander instructing him to effect the court warrants. William Okalany signed the letter on behalf of Kayihura.

A preliminary police report stated that on December 11, 2015, Birungi registered a complaint with police in Luweero asserting that she bought land from Bugoba and Ndibalekera but her attempt to access and utilise it proved difficult.

Birungi contended that Sempebwa turned around and thwarted her efforts to secure a land title from Bukalasa lands office in Luweero. Police recorded a case of obtaining money by false pretence referenced as 63/11/12/2015.

Origin of case

In 2013, Birungi bought an acre of land at Kanyanya from Ndibalekera and Bugoba at sh50m and another land at Kyebando, states a police report signed by detective Raymond Jjagwe.

However, when Birungi went to take possession and develop the land at Kanyanya, she met resistance from some people who claimed that Ndibalekera and Bugoba were not the legitimate owners. The Kyebando land also had encumbrances.

“This prompted her to demand for a recovery of her money from the vendors (Ndibalekera and Bugoba). But since the money was already used and finished, the sellers opted to relocate her to Kamira Estate land at Bunsule-Bugema (in Luweero) on block 22, plot 10,” the report dated April 28, 2016, read.

Birungi abandoned the Kanyanya and Kyebando plots, both valued at sh80m after Ndibalekera and Bugoba agreed to sell her 100 acres of land in Luweero at sh200m. Birungi topped up the sh80m with sh120m.

The report said Ndibalekera and Bugoba agreed to give a one Kefas Mayanja three acres of land for helping them to acquire letters of administration. “The three acres were to be surveyed and added onto the 100 acres of Birungi.”

The land measuring 640 acres belonged to the late Evarine Kulabako, another Namasole of Buganda, who bequeathed it to Ndibalekera. The report revealed that Ndibalekera and Sempebwa in 2014 had a court battle over the land, with each claiming to be the legitimate owner.

Through reconciliation and arbitration, the two later reached a mutual understanding and agreed to share the land equally, each taking 320 acres.

When Birungi surveyed the entire 640 acres in an attempt to cut off the 103 acres, Sempebwa decided to curve off his 320 acres including part of the land that she (Birungi) had bought. Although Sempebwa was a witness while Birungi purchased the land from Ndibalekera and Bugoba, he declined to extend his boundaries.

Birungi reported to Police who advised her to seek legal redress since Ndibalekera and Bugoba had failed to prevail over Sempebwa whose actions bore hallmarks of connivance and fraud.

Attempts to get a comment from Ndibalekera and Sempebwa were futile as their known mobile phone numbers were switched off.

The Buganda Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga and kingdom spokesperson, Noah Kiyemba, could not be reached for a comment as they did not pick our calls.   

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