OPINION: Mischievous Ugandans abroad put Country’s Image in bad spotlight
By Joseph Mukasa
Besides Idi Amin, Uganda is known to be a beautiful country with one of the enterprising, kindest people in the world.
While many Ugandans have found success through hard-working in the UK, US and elsewhere, the growing number of criminal cases against Ugandans abroad has risen over the years and have made headlines about their source of wealth especially those who splash money around when they return to the country like the so called “Rich Gang from South Africa”.
UK police recently cracked a criminal syndicate which was involved in stealing luxury cars and selling them to people in Uganda and neighbouring countries.
For the last few years, some notorious Ugandans living in the Diaspora have been putting Uganda in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
Last year a Chinese security delegation to Uganda revealed that more than 100 Ugandans are locked up in Chinese prisons for crimes related to drug and human trafficking.
Over 133 Ugandans in China are awaiting execution after a death sentence was serveddrug trafficking.
China has tough anti-drug trafficking laws and little can be done to save Ugandans.
The 10 most notorious criminals in the Diaspora who have put Uganda in the spotlight are the following;
- Daniel NsabaButuuro in 2005, a son of former minister of Ethics Nsaba Butuuro was jailed for four years for dealing in heroin on the streets of Luton.
He also served extra six months for handling a car, which was stolen from a Luton hotel.
Daniel was saved from being deported by Judge Jeffrey Burke QC who said he would not recommend that the then 19-year-old be deported at the end of his sentence as he had lived in England since he was one years old.
Court got to know in a police interview where he confessed that he was selling drugs worth £15,000.
He said he was not a drug user himself, but was under pressure to repay debts.
- Four years ago, US authorities charged Michael Lyadda, 42, who is a resident of Valencia, California, with seven counts, including possession for sale of a controlled substance (oxycodone, is a narcotic pain reliever), obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and robbery.
In 2005 Michael made headlines in Uganda with his sleek personalised cars and luxurious lifestyle whenever he returned to Uganda.
Police officers also recovered more than $140,000 (about Shs336m) and two vehicles valued at $180,000 (about Shs432m) from Mr Lyadda’s house and from a public storage facility under his use.
- In April 2017 a US government website featured a story on former Ugandan insurance agents Ali Kakande, 37, and SulaimanLutale, 35, who were arrested on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, identity theft, money laundering, grand theft, and forgery after allegedly falsifying life insurance applications to collect over $300,000 in unearned commissions.
The duo-criminals were booked into Orange County Central Jail by CDI Fraud Detectives and charged with Charges include 15 counts PC 487 (a) Grand Theft, 8 counts of 470 (d) and 473 (a) Forgery, 5 counts of PC 186.10 (a) Money Laundering, 3 counts of PC 530.5 (a) Identity Theft, and 15 counts of PC 550 (b) (2) Insurance Fraud.
- In August 2015 a Mechanic Peter Kibisu, 23, was charged with rape and murder of Elizabeth Nnyanzi, 31, a former student at the prestigious Cheltenham Ladies’ College.
Peter Kibisu murdered Elizabeth Nnyanzi, 31, while lodging at the house in Harrow, North West London, where she had lived with her parents and two sisters for 15 years.
The court heard how, at the time, Kibisu had been welcomed into the £600,000 semi-detached home and was a close family friend.
Appearing in the dock at the Old Bailey today, the defendant showed no emotion as he pleaded guilty to murder.
- In 2013, David KikaawaNsubuga, of Edmonton, North London, was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend LinahKeza, a 29-year-old mother-of-one and University of Wolverhampton Social Work graduate.
Kezawas born in Uganda and moved to Rwanda as a teenager, before going to the UK.
- In 2009, Rose Rosalind Birungi, 49 was arrested by using spiking and sniffer dogs and was given a 12-year sentence for drug trafficking by a Kingston-Upon Thames Crown Court in UK.
The judge recommended that after serving her sentence in the UK, Birungi be deported and a travel ban be imposed on her.
Birungi was found guilty of dealing and importing cocaine, a drug prohibited in the UK.
- In 2015 a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Jamal Kiyemba, 36 from London, was detained in the Ugandan capital Kampala in connection with the death of Joan Kagezi, who was killed in front of her children days before a major trial against Islamist terror network Al-Shabaab.
Kiyemba, a former pharmacy student at a university in Leicester, was held at Guantanamo Bay for four years and awarded the huge pay-out after being released.
- In 2015, Ruth Nabuguzi a well-known fraudster was convicted of stealing £4million from the British taxpayer, Nabuguzi was accused of ‘outrageous abuse of the hospitality’ shown to her by Britain when she – along with a gang of other fraudsters – was convicted of stealing more than £4.1million from taxpayers.
The 20-year scam saw her gang create fake identities for up to 100 children to milk the benefits system. She was ordered by a judge to pay back £1.5million of the money she stole.
- On 18th March 2017, 18-year-old Cory Kisakyewas arrested in US over Boston Shooting and faces firearm charges, according to the Quincy Police Department.
- In 2014 a Ugandan gang member Allan Kalema was sentenced to 14 years in UK prison for murdering a painter and decorator. Mr Jaipual was killed in what the Metropolitan Police described as a “brutal murder” by members of the Busy Block gang from the nearby Elthorne Estate.
Every day we read news of the death of Ugandan youth in the UK and USA.
In 2016 Matthew Kitandwe, 18, who had represented Uganda at youth level, was ambushed and killed as he put his key in the lock on returning home from college.
Mr. John Mugenyi a Ugandan criminal lawyer in the UK said that some of the underlying issues in the notorious youth gang related crimes and death is that children often have unsupervised time.
If this becomes excessive, children will search for something to do to prevent boredom.
Gang activities can fill the excess time.
Parents should be involved in coordinating and sponsoring activities for their children.
More activities and parental involvement will decrease the strength a gang has in the neighbourhood.
Parents should form community groups that are willing to supervise children’s activities.
It is also important to know where your child is at all times. Make them accountable for their time and actions.
These Ugandans who make mischief in the Diaspora have given Uganda a bad reputation, like last year, £1million haul of cars stolen in Britain were found in Uganda after police used GPS to track down a missing Lexus.