The detention and charging of three lawyers in Mukono has created a mixed reaction within the district where they base their chambers and mainly serve.
On Thursday, lawyers including Kenneth Nsubuga Sebagayunga, Zahura Shamim and Musa Lukungu together with Hakim Bigomba, a businessman were arraigned before Mukono Grade I Magistrates Court after several days of detention at Mukono Police Division.
These were charged with crimes of fraudulent procurement of certificate of title, forgery, uttering a false document and conspiracy to commit a felony following an investigation by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit together Uganda Police Force Crime Intelligence Division, Kibuli.
They are accused before court for procuring of certificate of title and forging documents for purchase of 28-arce land which belonged to the family of the late Sarah Mulira. The suspects and others still at large allegedly committed the offence in November 2021.
Although they pleaded not guilty before court asking and granted a cash bail of shillings one million each, the matter continues to generate a strong debate especially by the netizens in a disbelief of the possibility of occurrence of the matter were lawyers spend days in jail given their status of being qualified legal brains to easily identify a land deal transaction as fraud.
Richard Kateregga Mivule, a local in Mukono mainly single out among other lawyers Kenneth Nsubuga Ssebagayunga among the other lawyers he says given his attempts contest for political offices could not involve himself in land deals.
Ssebagayunga has on several occasions failed to win political offices despite the recurrent attempt. In 2016, he lost to the former Mukono North Member of Parliament Ronald Kibuule. He also lost the National Resistance Movement contest for the Vice Chairperson for Central Region and later petitioned the constitution court challenging the order of NRM constitution.
Davis Lukyamuzi, a disgruntled councillor at Nama sub county has turned the blame on media saying it started covering the case at an early stage (Plea taking) adding that it is hard to determine the validity of charges saying they would have waited for the final verdict.
Lukyamuzi has gone ahead to threaten journalists that they risk shooting if they continue reporting stories. He notes that from the previous elections they failed his plans of winning the position of councillor again.
Lawyer Ssebagayunga has also posted on various platforms criticizing the media and individual journalists for running the stories without interviewing him on the matter that happened before court. He mainly singles out David Musisi Karyankolo as well as usuing demeaning language on the rest of journalists.
However, several other netizens including Emmanuel Nsereko and Cleophas Bomboka have equally questioned the intellect of their fellow netizens for blaming journalists before accessing a full charge sheet.
Nsereko believes journalists do a very good job of reporting matters as they start, follow them up until to the end. “Once Ssebagayunga is not guilty, they will come back here and tell us the court’s final verdict.”
Summary of Key Questions and Answers in this Matter Sofar?
Where the lawyers investigated?
The work was done by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit together with the CID Kibuli.
Where they arrested?
Yes, and detained for three days at Mukono Police Division.
Where they charged?
Yes, they were charged with seven count.
Where they taken to court cells?
Upon their arrival to the court they were matched to court cells handcuffed.
Was it necessary for journalists to interview them after the court session?
No, since the matter is before court, journalists accessed all the details on fail and suspects including Kenneth Nsubuga Sebagayunga, Zahura Shamim and Musa Lukungu together with Hakim Bigomba had taken a plea of not guilty before court.