(A facebook post from Muhereza Kyamutetera)

Here is an October 2015 ruling in which JSC Arach Amoko confirms that Muhanga  Was a co-conspirator mafia in the attempts to defraud UBC of its land. Here an extract from the judgement: “The learned Justice stated that she had a duty and obligation to ascertain the proprietor of the property even before attempting to bid for it. Had she done so, she would have found out that the property she was bidding for did not belong to the respondents and that the advert was false and misleading.

According to his Lordship, it appeared to him that she actually was well aware of the fact that the respondent was not the registered proprietor but she went ahead to buy the property anyway. She cannot turn around and contend that she is an innocent purchaser for value without notice. The learned justice observed;

“Innocent she is not. The ownership of the property was changed from the names of the 2nd respondent to the names of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation the 1st applicant on 14th January 2014 long after she had purportedly bought it. Uganda Broadcasting Corporation the first respondent was reinstated as owner on 10.1.2014 at 2.42 p.m.. At 2.44 p.m on the same day a special certificate of title was issued. At 2.46 pm Margaret Muhanga Mugisha the 4th respondent was registered as proprietor of the said property.

Clearly in my view all the transaction in respect of the suit property carried out at the Land Registry on 10th January 2014 was made at the same time. It is inconvincible that transfer forms could have been prepared, signed and lodged within 2 minutes by the 4th respondent. It is not possible that the 4th respondent who had the duty to effect transfer of the title into her names could have had the property valued by the Government is     valuers, given a value, had the stamp duty assessed, paid stamp duty, lodged the receipts at the land Registry, had the transfer forms endorsed, filed them for registration and had the registration completed ALL in a period of two minutes. This may not be a finding of fact but it certainly raises a red flag”.

He found further that it was inconceivable that she could have carried shs. 10,200,000,000/- in cash and paid it to the bailiff at the fall of the hammer as indicated in the 3rd respondent’s affidavit. The 3rd respondent’s office is on the 6th floor, Room 12, Plot 15  Luwum Street Kampala. And thereafter the 3rd respondent could have paid that huge amount to SINBA at the same place as annexure “c” to the affidavit of the 4th respondent a cash receipt issued to SINBA (K) ltd indicates. Based on the above his Lordship made the finding complained of in this ground namely, that the 5th Appellant was part and parcel of a well-planned fraud, she participated at each and every phase with the clear intention of defrauding the respondents of the property, or at least she was aware of all the illegalities outlined above and took advantage of them. She could not therefore claim to be a bona fide purchaser for value without notice.

I have perused the record of proceedings and I find that the conclusions reached by the learned Justice of Appeal are supported by the evidence on record. Indeed the 5th Appellant did not aver anywhere in her affidavit that she made any effort to establish the ownership of the land. Further, the speed with which the transaction was effected particularly at the land Registry definitely raises suspicion of collusion. This is compounded by the fact that the land had a checkered history right from the sale to the 2 nd Appellant.

It is indeed inconceivable that she could part with such a huge sum of money without ‘ carrying out a search in the Lands Registry to verily the ownership of the said land. Besides, this was a sale by a court appointed bailiff; it is even more incredible that the 5th  Appellant had no opportunity of establishing the background suit that had led to the attachment of the said property.

This was not an ordinary sale, as rightly submitted by the Appellants’ own counsel. It was the sale of very prime land in the heart of Kampala. The suit property belonged to a Government body, therefore there was need in my view for a valuation from the Chief Government Valuer. It was a sale arising out of a court case. The 5th Appellant had to verify the history of the court case and scrutinize all the relevant documents before parting with the huge sum of money, to avoid being sucked into litigation like she has been.

In the premises, I find that the learned Justices were absolutely right to reject the plea of bona fide purchaser for value without notice.

As for the assignment, it is true that the Deed of Assignment was is executed one day after the expiry of the 60 days period. However, that was not the main reason why Opio Aweri, JA found that it was illegal. He stated in his judgment that:

“The above transaction would have been lawful had the 1st and 2nd Respondents returned the title to the applicant before the assignment of the same to SINBA.”

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