Court dismiss fraud charges against Gashumba

By Farooq Kasule

His co-accused are his brother Innocent Kasumba alias Simon Mutabazi and businessman Ismail Kiyingi

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The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate's Court has dismissed fraud and possession of narcotic drug charges against social critic, Frank Gashumba for lack of evidence.

On Thursday, Grade One Magistrate, Stella Amabilis dismissed the case after the state failed to produce a single witness to testify in the matter since 2017.

"This case is hereby dismissed for want of prosecution and the accused is accordingly discharged," Amabilis ruled.

This was the 23rd time Gashumba and his two co-accused appeared in court.

Gashumba's co-accused are his brother Innocent Kasumba alias Simon Mutabazi, 30, and businessman Ismail Kiyingi.

In 2017, they were charged with possession of forged stamps, false declaration of a passport, giving false information, possession of substances (marijuana) and disobedience of statutory duties.

The charge

The prosecution alleged that the trio and others still at large between September and October 2017 forged stamps from the South Sudan ministries of justice, agriculture, education, and transport.

It further alleged that in 2012, Gashumba being the holder of passport number BO892687 applied for the same document and refused to surrender the older one to a passport control officer for safe custody as required under the Passport Regulation Act, 2004.

The prosecution also alleged that Gashumba lied to the passport control officer that his father is Joseph Lwandaga, mother Teddy Nalwanga and that his place of birth is Namasuba, a city suburb whereas not.

It was further alleged that on September 12, at Tulip Golden Hotel in Kampala, the trio with intent to defraud two Dutch nationals — Kolgvan Dirutop and Manu Meerscghman — represented themselves as Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs director of procurement, Dr John Mwine whereas not.

It was further stated that the accused conspired to obtain money by false pretence from the duo pretending to offer contracts to supply trucks, troop carriers, heavy machines and water tanks.

Gashumba was also accused possesses of substances (Marijuana) in addition to forgery of defence ministry identification cards and uttering of a false document in the names of Maj. Gen. Francis Okello, the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff in order to defraud Dirutop and Meerscghman.