28 December 2017

Uganda: Geology Official Accused of Forgery to Grab Wife's House

Kampala — The Criminal Investigations Directorate are investigating a senior official in the Geology Department for alleged forgery of a construction plan for a house belonging to his deceased wife.

Commissioner Zachary Baguma, the director in the Directorate of Geology, is under probe by Kampala Metropolitan Police.

Mr Baguma denied the accusations and said he does not own the house and referred Daily Monitor to his lawyer Kato Okalebo who declined to comment on the matter.

Mr Okalebo said he is only Baguma's lawyer and not his spokesman.

However, the police spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan Region, Mr Luke Owoyesigire, confirmed the investigations against Mr Baguma for the alleged forgery.

"We have recorded statements from all parties; the Commissioner, his wife's family members and Jomayi Property Consultants who sold the land to the deceased," Mr Owoyesigire told Daily Monitor.

He said the case file was ready for submission to the State Attorney next week for sanctioning and have the accused charged in court.

It is alleged that Mr Baguma forged the architectural plan for a house belonging to his deceased wife Lillian Carolyn Kanyunyuzi who died at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) on November 23, 2016.

Her younger sister, Ms Grace Kanyiginya, told Daily Monitor in an interview that after her death, Mr Baguma who had lived with the deceased for 20 years, engaged an architect Kanyunyuzi had contracted for her house plan and produced a similar drawing in the name of Mr and Mrs Zachary Baguma.

Ms Kanyiginya, a resident of Seguku, said the family learnt about the change in the house ownership when they received court summons in a case challenging the letters of administration granted to the deceased's family to take over the property.

The powers of attorney to take over the estate were granted to the deceased's sister Grace Kanyiginya, mother Venny Kabahandiki and brother Stephen Asiimwe.

Ms Kanyiginya said the house building plan in the court papers differed from the one Kanyunyuzi had entrusted to her.

"When we saw this anomaly, we reported a case at Central Police Station Kampala," she said.

The investigations started. Daily Monitor has seen a copy of a letter which Detective Senior Superintendent of Police Johnson Olal Dale wrote on September 21 this year to Wakiso District Chief Administrative Officer, requesting for certified copies of the house's building plan in the name of Mr and Mrs Baguma Zachary.

The letter is Ref 297/DPPC/22/7/55/s11 and another one Ref 111s/DPPC/22/12/14 in the name Kanyunyuzi Carolyn Lillian.

On October 5, the Chief Administrative Officer responded to Detective Olal, saying the house building plan in the name of Mr and Mrs Baguma Zachary was approved on June 25, 2015 but was tainted with misrepresentation and misinformation on the part of Mr Baguma.

"We have since established that Mr Baguma had no interest whatsoever in the land in respect of which the plan approval was done," reads part of the CAO's response signed by the assistant Ruth Nakatudde.

The letter adds that the CAO was taking "necessary steps to recall the approval."

Ms Kanyiginya says after presenting the letters of administration, Jomayi Property Consultants who sold the property to the late Kanyunyuzi, handed the house to the family. Their mother Kabahandiki is currently living in the house.

Ms Kanyiginya also alleged that they have survived several attempts by Mr Baguma to evict them.

The Local Council One chairman, Mr Felix Nakabale, who oversaw transactions over the plot in Jomayi estate, said whenever a couple sought to buy land, the title would be written in the couple's names.

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