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Kampala Central deputy mayor remanded over Shs 450m land fraud

Hanipher Mpungu hides her  face as she's led away to prison

Hanipher Mpungu hides her face as she's led away to prison

Kampala Central deputy mayor Hanipher Mpungu has been remanded to Luzira prison on charges of obtaining money under false pretenses.

Mpungu appeared before Nakawa chief magistrate Ritah Neumbe Kidasa on Wednesday. It is alleged that between May and June 2022 in Ntinda, Kampala district, she obtained Shs 450 million from Grave Tony Mulinde Lugayuzi to purportedly sell him land in vain. Despite maintaining her innocence, Mpungu's bail application could not proceed as the resident state attorney, Doreen Elima is currently on leave.

Consequently, she was returned to prison, with her next court appearance scheduled for September 20. Kampala Central Urban Council Division mayor Salim Uhuru appointed Mpungu as his deputy in July 2021. If found guilty, the offense she is charged with carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Records indicate that Mpungu was previously released on police bond on August 12, 2022, but failed to comply. She was subsequently summoned to court on August 23, 2023. Allegedly, her lawyer falsely claimed she was admitted to the Wellington Diabetes and Heart Centre Nakasero. However, detective AIP Peter Abwona's investigation found no evidence of her presence at that hospital.

"On the 31st day of August 2023, the accused, who had earlier claimed to be admitted at Wellington Diabetes and Heart Centre Nakasero, was intercepted and arrested while attending a party with her children in Nangabo, Kasangati," reads an affidavit by Abwona.

The disputed land is said to belong to the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council. This is not the first time the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council has been dragged into property-related fraud. In 2020, three individuals were remanded to Kitalya prison for conspiring to steal over Shs 444 million from the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council in a software scam.

The accused reportedly received the money through an ex parte court order issued by the interdicted Masaka High court registrar, Cissy Mudhasi, in favour of Ram Engineering Uganda Limited, with an arbitrator only identified as I. Tugumisirize.

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