The Government is moving to take-over the estate of departed lawyer Robert Aldridge Bob Kasango, the prized Investigator reveals.
The Administrator General has initiated the takeover on behalf of government by appropriately filing an application with the High Court for authorization of the move.
The family division of the High Court sitting at Makindye on receipt of the application, put out a public notice on January 13, calling upon those harboring reservations against the move to forward them for consideration.
We have checked with the court’s registry at noon today, but we have not found either a family member, an attorney or any member of the public having filed an application in opposition of the government’s management of Kasango’s estate.
The family division will go ahead after the expiry of 14 days to issue the authorization the government seeks unless someone comes up with a convincing response to the contrary.
What we know
Kasango left behind huge debts particularly of money meant for clients he swindled looking to live large. He for instance, and for interest of this article, collected from the government a whopping Ush15Bn for onward transmission to over 6000 pensioners, but didn’t pass on the money to the intended beneficiaries.
The pension funds got Kasango into huge trouble with the law including imprisonment up to the time he passed on. He passed on while pleading for permission from the court of law to allow him go for specialized treatment abroad. The courts upon convicting him, directed Kasango to refund the funds he stole. The disciplinary arm of the law council had also suspended him indefinitely from practicing his career for years.
Intriguingly, Kasango is not the one who had represented the pensioners in court. His colleague, John Matovu of Matovu and Matovu advocates is the one who had done the donkey work of representing and winning the case on behalf of the pensioners.
But, Matovu had been marked by the government as an FDC opposition man on account of having previously represented Dr Kiiza Besigye in election petitions against President Museveni and he had found it next to impossible himself demanding for the huge legal fees from the government.
Kasango came in and landed the money without cutting a sweat, simply because he happened to know the people in government who mattered. On the way to receiving the funds, Kasango deceitfully forged the signature of the then deputy registrar (read taxation master), John Keitirima, to indicate his law firm, Marble Advocates instead of that of Matovu, had been granted the Ush15Bn as legal fees.
He then used the forged document to pick the money from the government and kept it all without handing Matovu or any of the pensioners a coin out of it. Matovu is still claiming for the funds he worked for and he had successfully sued Kasango, but for the deceased’s high-ranking friends within the government, he had failed to get pay up.
Relatedly, Kasango was also convicted for converting Ush3Bn that the government had paid to Tooro Queen Best Kemigisha. Kemigisha had sold her land in Tooro to the government and retained Kasango to pick the dime. Kasango diverted the money leading to his prosecution which ended with the trial court directing him to refund the funds.
Also worth noting is the fact that Kasango’s in-laws and his own family aren’t on talking terms. This became crystal clear after the deceased left a will indicating he wished to be buried in Tooro while his family particularly his dad wished him to be buried back home in Teso.
The will caused such a rift between the two families that at one time the family of the deceased grabbed the body and attempted to take home for burial, but that of the widow managed to wrestle the body back. The body would end up kept at a funeral service in Kampala for weeks before the court of law ruled in favor of the in-laws.
The above factors combined would mean the government is seeking to manage the estate of deceased in order to recover the debts left behind by Kasango and also thwart serious war that would arise from granting either the in-laws of the deceased or that of his family powers of managing the estate.
Indeed, we have been made to understand that the widow wants the government to manage the estate and some of the relatives of Kasango are in support of the process because they feel the government would be an impartial party in the matter.
What was left behind
The man who came on top of his class at Makerere is thought to have owned a storied residence in Kololo, but he reportedly sold off the property. He owned a fancy home in Luzira. He is also rumored to
to have owned properties in the US where he ran a branch of his law firm of Hall Partners that was managed by his university contemporary, Karooli Ssemogerere, the son of Dr Paulo Kawanga Ssemogerere, before he renamed it Marble Advocates to confuse creditors.
He is believed to have stacked away in the US, a big chunk of money he was allegedly swindling from clients to stop the owners from finding it. Following his death, it emerged he had bought a big chunk of land in Tooro where he willed to be buried and was buried.
It is also claimed he partly owned the building housing the Marble law firm on Bukoto Street and that he was a business partner of veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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