13 July 2012

Uganda: Bad Black to Appeal Verdict

Photo: Arne Doornebal
'Bad Black' (file photo).

Disgraced city socialite, Shanita Namuyimbwa aka Bad Black got a four year jail sentence for stealing her former British lover's sh11bn, David Greenhalgh is to appeal the verdict.

Her Ugandan lover, Meddie Ssentongo, with whom she squandered the money originally meant for investment got an 18 month jail term. While Meddie's lawyer Isaac Walukagga said he will not appeal against the conviction and sentence, Black's lawyer, Caleb Alaka said he intends to appeal.

Black got a cumulative sentence of seven years; four for embezzlement and 18 months each for the two counts of conspiracy to defraud. The reason she will serve only four years is because she will be serving the three sentences concurrently.

Meddie on the other hand got 18 months for each of the two counts of conspiracy to defraud. He also serves the sentences concurrently. This in effect means he will be in prison for the duration of only one sentence.

Alaka said that he feels the erroneously found that the company Daveshan Development Uganda Ltd, from which she got the money existed. He said that the company never existed because David Greenhalgh who was supposed to be a director never signed its memorandum of Association. Instead, Alaka said it was Greenhalgh's lawyer, David Mushabe who signed.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire handed them the jail sentences after convicting them the previous day. She said that though Back's lawyers asked the court not to imprison her on account of her baby, the court will not take lightly their behaviour which reflect the growing decline in public morals and social values.

"With reckless abandon they unscrupulously pilfered funds and in an unprecedented manner wiped away a sh11bn fortune within a record period of nine months," the Judge ruled and noted that this money was not theirs.

"Local partners of foreign investors should be seen to act with impeccable integrity and utmost trust. This case is a sad tale and reflection of the breakdown of key tenets of our society. We cannot build trust of the people whose financial resources our economy requires if local partners engage in behaviour that puts the investments at risk.

She declined to issue orders on compensation saying that Greenhalgh did not exercise sufficient due diligence in the selection of development partners. She said that the investor also did not put in place measures and controls to safeguard his investment and also that no asset recovery investigation as done to verify existence of ill-gotten assets.

But Greenhalgh's lawyer, Patrick Farah said that they already filed a civil suit for recovery of the monies. He said that the suit was filed last year, but that they will now amend it to reflect the new position of the conviction. He said they intend to recover all the money.

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