City Lawyer, Four Others Arrested Over Forged Land Documents

956 Views Masaka, Uganda
City lawyer, Robert Kawamala and four others are in trouble for allegedly forging documents to grab 68 acres of land.  The suspects were picked up on Wednesday at Masaka land office. The other suspects are Joseph Sserwanja, Daniel Bainomugisha, Denis Kayongo and Umar Kaliisa.  
Idi Ibin Ssenkuumbi, the Masaka Regional Police spokesperson, says the suspects were intercepted at Masaka Land office where they had gone to the Registrar, Herman Ggaliwango to endorse forged land documents. According to Ssenkumbi, Kaliisa processed forged agreements pretending that he was selling his land to Sserwanja. 
The Masaka District Land Registrar, Herman Galiwango explains that the plot was to transfer the land title from the name of Jane Nakiboneka, a resident of Bukulula village in Kalungu district to the name of Joseph Sserwanja. He says the suspects had also forged Nakiboneka's signatures indicating that she had sold them the land.
According to Ggaliwango, he contacted contacted Nakiboneka who denied having sold her land to anyone. As a result, Ggaliwango alerted police, which swung into action and picked up the suspects. Nakiboneka arrived a few hours later, saying the land in question belongs to the family, which she can't sell to anyone. 

She explains that the land belonged to her late mother Maria Nabayego who transferred the title into her name. During interrogation, Sserwanja claimed to have bought the said land from Umar Kaliisa, a prominent broker in Masaka. Sserwanja said that he paid Kaliisa Shillings 30million, who promised to him get a land title before he clears the balance of Shillings 20 million. 

As a result, Kaliisa used Kawamala to process the transfer forms changing the land title from Nakiboneka's name to Sserwanja. Kawamala denies playing a role in the forgery, saying he relied on the information provided by Kaliisa to process the land documents. Police have opened inquiries under SD REF 88/21/06/2016. 

The arrest of the suspects comes at a time when Masaka is battling land grabbing. Several families have been evicted from their land by unscrupulous people, sometimes with titles. 


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