The Buganda Road Magistrates Court has convicted businessman Mukesh Shukla Babubhai on six counts of uttering a false document.
Mukesh was on Monday evening convicted by the court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Marion Mangeni, on charges related to uttering a false document in form of a letter for the official handover of Hotel Diplomat Muyenga, purporting the same to have been signed by the late Bonny Katatumba, the former Consular of Uganda to Pakistan and his other family members.
The other family members included Annie Grace Katatumba, Angella Katatumba, Ian Katatumba, Bonny Katatumba, and Rugirwa Katatumba.
The documents which also included the signature of George William Kalyegira, the officer in charge of the former Chief Justice Bart Katureebe’s security detail, are said to have been uttered on April 17th, 2015, and November 2017, indicating that the Katatumba family had authorized him to take over Hotel Diplomat.
The Court heard that the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt with evidence from their seven witnesses that Mukesh had committed the said crimes against him which he had denied previously.
The same court acquitted him of seven counts related to the forgery of those documents on the basis that there was no sufficient evidence to show that he is the one who had forged them.
“The accused denied ownership saying the document was received from one Luzinda Cirus at the company,” his evidence has not been challenged by the prosecution, so who made it? I am not convinced by evidence on record that the accused made the document, and the court cannot safely convict him. I acquit him on forgery,” said Mangeni.
After being found guilty, the prosecution led by Ivan Kyazze asked the court to hand Mukesh a custodial sentence, saying cases of this nature have been rampant in the country, especially in the jurisdiction of Buganda Road Court.
On his part, Mukesh asked to be given a lenient sentence saying he is an old man with a family to look after, and that a caution would be an appropriate sentence for him as opposed to going to jail.
The court heard that Mukesh is a boss to many people and sending him to jail might affect the welfare of those people he employs.
In her ruling, Magistrate Mangeni sentenced Mukesh to pay a fine of two million shillings on each of the six counts and failure of which, he should go to Luzira prison and be there for two years as his punishment.
The children of Katatumba led by Angella Katatumba welcomed the decision saying that they are happy he is now convicted, adding that the next step is now to get back Katatamba Suites (Now known as SHUMUK House ) where they say Mukesh is now demanding more than 14 million dollars in rent arrears.