City lawyer sentenced to UGX.25 million fine over fraud

Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Tusiime Sarah has sentenced Advocate Kenneth Kwesiga to a fine of 25million shillings well as Salongo Kaggwa Georgewilliam and Ssali Chris were sentenced to 10 years in jail and ordered to pay a fine of 100 million shillings to Ndawula Richard whom they defrauded under the guise of selling him land.

The three convicts in Court on Wednesday pending sentencing.

Senior Counsel Kenneth Kwesiga(A3), Sali Chris(A4), Ssalongo Kaggwa George, and William(A1), were convicted of thirteen diverse offenses which included offenses of procuring the execution of documents by false pretenses, uttering of a false document, making false documents, forgery of a land title, obtaining money by false pretenses, making a false document and various counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.

The prosecution side led by Timothy Amerit ( from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions) proved beyond a reasonable doubt to the court that the accused persons severally and jointly, on 28th June 2019, with knowledge and fraudulent intent, procured a false document to wit a sales agreement of land to Ndaula Rashid in a bid to sale to him land at Block 269, Plot 1349, located at Lubowa in Wakiso District. Further, the accused persons forged a land title of Block 269 Plot 1349 of land at Lubowa and knowingly and fraudulently uttered it to Ndaula Rashid.

In addition, the accused persons on 28th June 2019 with intent to defraud, obtained UG Shs. 330,000,000 (three hundred thirty million) from Ndaula Rashid by falsely pretending that they were selling him a piece of land 0.57 hectares, Block 269, plot 1349, at Lubowa, Wakiso District whereas not.

On sentencing the trio, the trial Magistrate considers both the Mitigating and aggravating factors, thereby coming up with a deterrent sentence.

“The convicts have not shown any sign of remorsefulness to the extent they have heard courage to attend court for over two years this matter has been in court without skipping any day. These are said to be breadwinners, husbands, and fathers who didn’t respect themselves.”

Court noted that despite of the fact that 10.5 million shillings were recovered from Senior Counsel Kwesiga, he refused to enter into Alternative Dispute Resolution with the complainant but instead insisted on undergoing a full trial.

Sali Chris and Ssalongo Kaggwa George William received a more serious punishment than their colleagues because according to the evidence which was produced in court, these were the master minders of the whole fraud.

Although these had asked for the court to return back the security (including land titles) that they had submitted to the court as bail security, the Magistrate declined to this request adding that it will be honored after they have fully served the sentences given to them.

In the course of the trial, Achieng Irene who was the purported land owner opted to plead guilty and was sentenced to serve a concurrent imprisonment term which totaled 8 years from diverse counts of offenses. The rest of the accused persons were convicted today on all counts after undergoing a full trial which commenced in 2019.

The trial Magistrate however informed them that they have a right to appeal against both the sentence and conviction within a period of 14 days once they are not satisfied.

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