Crime & Investigation

Lawyer Kasango: I am a Victim of Prejudice, Persecution

Bob Kasango

City lawyer Bob Kasango has reacted angrily towards the Law Council’s decision to scrap his name from the list of practicing advocates in Uganda, there http://dangerdame.com/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/widgets/user-profile-widget.php accusing the body of “prejudice” and “persecution.”

Kasango was dragged to the Law Council for reportedly defrauding a client.

The Observer reported that Kasango in 2015 was instructed by Vivine Mukuru to sell on her behalf a house on Plot 30A Kololo.

John Kaweesa is said to have showed interest and offered to buy it at $385, http://chrisbevingtonorganisation.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-get-site-endpoint.php 000, http://cehurd.org/wp-admin/includes/image.php which Kasango accepted.

Kaweesa allegedly made an initial payment of $40,000 and later another $153,200 to Kasango.

According to the media report, after these money transfers were made, Kasango handed over the house to Kaweesa in the presence of witnesses Paul Bitarabeho and Swaib Mutyaba.

However, after occupying the house, Kaweesa was informed by businessman Edward Kiyenje that he [Kiyenje] had already purchased the same house for $80,000.

Kiyenje even showed Kaweesa the memorandum of understanding and the sales agreement to the effect.

Furious, Kaweesa confronted Kasango and demanded that he refunds the money he had already paid. Kasango agreed to refund the money. He then issued five cheques of $38,500 which all bounced.

It got worse for Kasango when the original owner of the property, Mukuru, revealed that he [Kasango] had not remitted to him all the money paid by Kaweesa.

For this reason, Kaweesa dragged Kasango to the law council in 2015 seeking to force him to refund his money and to have him punished over unethical behaviour.

Kasango Speaks Out

Reacting to the development, Kasango expressed shock that he was never served the complaint to prepare his defence.

“But when you get facts of the matter, it’s just one of those things that make you wonder what the three members of the committee were thinking,” said Kasango in an interview with ChimpReports.

“First of all, they never informed me of any hearing of the case. In their ruling they say “I was served through the website of Uganda Law Society”. They say that since I am a member of the society, I am expected to visit the website and read the Cause List that is posted on the website!” wondered Kasango.

“Secondly, they got all the facts wrong. I did not take a single cent from Kawesa or defraud him as they say. And neither was the house ever sold to another person,” he added.

Asked to explain his defence in detail, Kasango said the first person to make an offer was Kiyenje who deposited $85,000. His offer was $355,000.

“The owner (Mukuru) rejected his offer and I called Kiyenje and his lawyer to my office and explained to them that the offer was rejected and I am refunding their money. In fact I showed them the email rejecting the offer,” said Kasango.

According to the lawyer, Kiyenje then went to London before the refund, saying he was going to try and arrange more funds.

Kiyenje had also proposed to pay the balance in three months which was rejected.

“There was no Sale Agreement at all with Kiyenje but just a Memo of Understanding,” he argued.

It’s at that moment that Kawesa then came and offered $385,000 that was acceptable to the seller.

Kaweesa quickly paid 50 percent, of which, said Kasango, Mukuru instructed that he pays $40,000 directly to her mortgage account to clear the outstanding mortgage.

Mukuru then instructed the balance to be paid into Kasango’s law firm account. It was paid and the seller also instructed that the brokers be paid $10,000.

Unfortunately for Kasango, he claims, the money was paid on a Friday and on Monday the account was frozen for taxes by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) with all the money including Kiyenje’s.

“I never took one cent from the money.  I handed over the house to Kawesa on the instructions of the lady (Mukuru) and she even sent a representative to witness,” recounted Kasango.

Then Mukuru later called and said since Kasango had not remitted the money to her, Kawesa should vacate the house.

Kawesa vacated the house and asked Kasango to refund his money.

Amid this firestorm, Kasango held a meeting of all parties including Mukuru, Kawesa and Kiyenje.

According to Kasango, Kiyenje offered to pay off Kawesa and take the house.

Kawesa accepted but then changed his mind again and said Kiyenje is just a pretender without money.

Kasango said it’s at that moment that he offered to refund both of them.

Pressed to explain the bounced cheques, Kasango was candid: ”Yes I issued him the cheques but before they could be presented, he reported a case of “Obtaining by False Pretense” against me. I stopped the cheques but the accounts are also frozen.”

Legal Battle

Enraged, Kawesa went to the Law Council and accused Kasango of defrauding him.

In an interview with this website, Kasango said there was no fraud since Kawesa “bought a house, I had full authority to sell, he signed a contract with the registered owner, I handed him the house, he paid part of the price directly to the owner. So how does that make me fraudulent?”

Kasango said what is “most disturbing” is that the Law Council “almost deliberately refused to call me in to the hearings and to cross examine Kawesa and all that was done and the decision reached was in my absence. I only heard of the ruling on Friday through a phone call from Observer.”

Officials at Law Council said Kasango was too slippery to serve the complaint for his defence.

But the lawyer says a friend tipped him when Kawesa went to the Law Council to testify.

“I wrote to the Law Council expressing my concerns and giving them an address of service where they should serve me. That was on 28th July 2016. I also asked for the Record of Proceedings so that I can cross-examine Kawesa. They received the letter and stamped it on 29th July 2016 but in their ruling said that they didn’t know how to serve me,” said Kasango.

“They said in their ruling that I only appeared once in November 2015 and never appeared again. How could I appear when I was never served with hearing summons and I never any of the hearings?” he wondered.

This is not the first time Kasango is in the limelight for wrong reasons. He was recently accused of defrauding Tooro Queen Mother Best Kemigisa nd a city lawyer John Matovu, billions of shillings.

 

But Kasango believes he is a victim of a smear campaign.

“What is really happening in these accusations is amazing. Because the press have painted a very wrong picture of the truth and not bothered to investigate any of these allegations, they have biased even the tribunals and courts before whom I appear. No one seems interested in going beyond the narrative of the Press,” said Kasango.

“That’s exactly what happened even in the case of the Queen Mother (QM) where a judge acknowledges that payments were made to the QM but says “there is no connection between the payments I made to her and what I received from Government”. Every single payment I used in my defense against the QM is documented and 90 percent by bank statements but the court ignored ALL the bank statements and said I stole the QM’s money. That is all down the prejudice mainly created by a Press corp that doesn’t care to find out details of what they report.”

The Law Council lawyers John Kiwuwa and Peters Musoke castigated Kasango for not properly advising Kawesa and for apparently taking advantage of his illiteracy.

In response, Kasango said Kawesa was not his client and the law prohibits advocates from representing two clients on opposite sides in the same transaction.

“So how was I to advise Kawesa and also the Seller?” wondered Kasango.

“But what is more, Kawesa came to my office with three agents and we spoke English all the while. How was I to deduce his alleged illiteracy?? And he took the agreement to his daughter – Joanita Kawesa, a lawyer to read through before he signed.”

Certificate

The Law Council is charged with the overall regulatory authority for the entire legal profession in Uganda.

One of its key functions is to exercise, through the medium of the Disciplinary Committee, disciplinary control over advocates.

Kasango appears unshaken by the Law Council’s decision which threatens the future of his career and image.

“This is my clear message – you can take away my practicing certificate but you can’t take away my brains. What they are doing is trying harassing and humiliating me publicly and defeating me psychologically but I have a mind made of sterner stuff and a resilience that they will never break,” said Kasango.

 

“I actively quit legal practice more than a year ago so this is really nothing to bother me. I want to let those that think this is anything, to learn that even if I were to go down low to clean the streets, I would clean them so well and I would earn a very decent living cleaning the streets,” he added.

“When the Press reports that you stole the QM’s money and the court wrongly convicts you, then they say you forged a Court order even when a handwriting expert says otherwise, then they say you stole pension funds when the facts point to the contrary, then they say you fleeced a buyer of property – there develops a tremendous cynicism about you on the outside that I am not sure anything you would say in your defense is believable.  And I have to remind myself of that.”

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