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Karim Hirji Daughters: Our Sister Linda was Left out of Mom’s Will



Karim Hirji’s daughters have dismissed as “untrue” and “unfortunate” claims by their half-sister, Lind Birungi, that the wealthy businessman worked with powerful friends and lawyers to grab the estate of their late mother Ziba Nanyonga Hirji alias Charm.

They said Linda, who has put up a spirited fight for Charm’s estate, was left out of the Will by their mother.

The late Charm had three children with her former husband Robert Birungi before she got married to Hirji in 1985.

Linda Birungi, the eldest daughter, is the petitioner on behalf of her siblings; Ronnie Birungi and Anita Birungi.

Charm was later blessed with three children with Hirji – Anisha Hirji, Karima Hirji and Nabila Hirji.

Charm died on February 8, 2004 from Cromwell hospital in London and was buried at Kololo cemetery. She left several properties worth billions of shillings both in Uganda and the UK.

Linda accused Hirji and his friend Joseph Ssempebwa of transferring the deceased’s property into their own names as absolute owners, misappropriating monies from both her accounts and proceeds from her life insurance policy.

Linda further appealed to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to intervene with the view of finding a lasting solution to their concerns.

Half-sisters speak out

However, in a statement sent to ChimpReports on Tuesday, Linda’s half-sisters, Anisha Hirji, Karima Hirji and Nabila Hirji expressed shock at Linda’s public remarks, saying her attempt to “to blackmail us as a family through false sensationalised claims and to intimidate and defame witnesses in the matter through weaponised fake news on social media is deplorable.”

The statement issued by Karim’s daughters 

They narrated that throughout her (Linda) growing years “our father provided for every financial aspect of Linda’s care, upkeep and education both in Uganda and in the United Kingdom. At the time of our mother’s death, Linda was 33 years old, had left home and was married.”

“In the course of our mother’s marriage to our father, our father as a loving husband gifted to her various properties. In her will, our mother stated that she left her estate to our father if she survived him for a stipulated period and if he did not then the estate should go to the three of us, the children of her union with our father Karim Hirji (Anisha Hirji, Karima Hirji and Nabila Hirji),” the trio emphasised.

“Although our father did survive her for the stipulated period, he nonetheless by declaration of trust passed on all our mother’s estate to us, her three daughters by him.”

The multi-million dollar property row has dragged in powerful individuals and threatens to tear apart an influential and wealthy family.

Hirji, a successful businessman, owns the Imperial Hotels in Kampala’s prime locations.


In her press statement, Linda claimed Hirji forged a Will to obtain a grant of probate to indicate that he and his employee Joseph Ssempebwa were beneficiaries of the deceased’s estates.

In response, Anisha, Karima and Nabila observed: “Linda has continually sought to contest our mother’s Will and her not having been one of the beneficiaries. Initially that was through her then lawyers, Bitangaro & Company Advocates, on the basis that she was a dependent relative for whom no maintenance had been provided but when it was pointed out that as a 33-year-old married lady at the time of our mother’s death she was not a dependent in law or fact, she then took to claiming that either the Will was forged or her having been excluded was proof that our mother was not of able or sound mind when she made the Will.”

They also denied reports that Attorney General William Byaruhanga and businessman Patrick Bitature planned to grab their family properties.

“They are one of the few family friends who at their own expense travelled to London to visit our mother in hospital and to commiserate with us and they deserve better. Our mother’s estate is in our hands and no one has sought to take it away from us.”

Linda alleged that lawyer Masembe Kanyerezi of MMAKS Advocates was working closely with Hirji to frustrate the case and steal their mother’s estate.

“Parliament should help investigate our mum’s property that was transferred five days to her death. Mum was in coma and couldn’t understand what was happening. She had started taking strong medicine that impaired her judgment four months before her death,” said Linda.

But Anisha, Karima and Nabila said the lawyers “had nothing to with the drawing of the contested Will and only acted for us in defending our interests in the suit filed by Linda and they have done so both ably,” adding, “Linda has held several cordial meetings with Masembe who she knows personally and well in attempting a settlement of the matter and so it is unfortunate that she should seek for sensational gain and to play victim to make personal attacks against him as she has also done against the witnesses who will speak together with us about our mother’s state of mind when she made the will.”

It remains unclear if the matter will be resolved amicably in the near future.

However, Anisha, Karima and Nabila extended an olive hand to Linda, saying, they have always been committed to “working out an amicable settlement” with her for “her grievance at being left out of our mother’s Will.”

The family of departed Treasury Secretary Chris Kassami on Monday denied reports that William Byaruhanga sought to grab their properties.

“William (Byaruhanga) has been a good friend to our family. He was very close to my husband. He is more like a brother. We look up to him as a family. We have been through thick and thin,” said Podi Kassami, the widow of Kassami.

“The first person to respond if we had a problem was William. Whatever they are saying is utter nonsense,” she added.

Jasi Kassami, the deceased Treasury Secretary, described the claims against Byaruhanga as “ridiculous” and “shocking”, adding, “We were lucky” to have William as an executor of their father’s will.

“We would be in court if there was a dispute about it. What we are trying to do is honour his (Kassami) memory and grow the assets that were left there. Everything was followed to the letter… we had support, someone who had knowledge of the law… As a friend and trustee, he (Byaruhanga) honoured his responsibility and gone above and beyond as an uncle to me and a friend to my late father,” said Jasi.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded




The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19




Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  

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Museveni issues ultimatum to police boss




Museveni flagged off distribution of motorcycles for NRM chairpersons

President Yoweri Museveni has given Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola a chilling ultimatum: You either do your work or I will do it myself!

Museveni disclosed the ultimatum he gave to the IGP today Monday at the NRM secretariat at Plot 10 Kyadondo Road in Kampala where he was flagging off the distribution of motorcycles to parish chairpersons of the ruling National Resistance Movement party across the country. 

“I told the IGP that if the police doesn’t do their work, I will do it myself by arresting the police officers themselves,” Museveni stunned his audience as he commented on the electoral violence that marred the NRM primaries held on Friday last week. At least 4 people were killed across the country during the primaries. 

“There was violence in Bukono county [Namutumba district] where people were beaten. I got information that police has not done much work. Some (policemen) have been arrested and given police bond; there is no police bond for somebody who has attacked Ugandans!,” Museveni added. 

Museveni vowed to deal with all persons who messed up the party primaries.  In some parts of the country, there were massive regularities where candidates who had been defeated ended up being announced winners. In some places like Namutumba, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Jinja, Katakwi, among others, there was violence that led to the killing and wounding of civilians. Museveni said that they are going to make sure that all those who participated in these irregularities and violence are held to account. 

Museveni said although the violence was orchestrated by the politicians, the police personnel are to be held accountable for failing to contain it.

Last week, police spokesman Fred Enanga warned police personnel especially those guarding VIPs against being drawn into the politicians’ political wrangles, reminding them that they would face the music if they did. With the president now threatening to go and conduct the arrests of errant policemen himself, IGP Ochola is likely to move fast to avert the spectacle. 

Museveni wondered why police would shoot at unarmed people who were fighting amongst themselves: “That policeman must be arrested; even the ones who are threatening people you will go to jail for that if we get evidence,” a seemingly incensed Museveni said.

He also said that the state minister of Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana who was captured on camera attempting to shoot people over the weekend in Ntugamo after he lost the  Rushenyi primaries, will be charged with threatening violence and attempted murder. 

 “This game is finished,” Museveni said.

Rukatana has since been charged and remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district in western Uganda. Museveni called upon all those dissatisfied with the election results to write petitions to the regional panels of elders which he said are going to be constituted to hear all election complaints.

“We are going to get three respected people who are not part of the struggles, then we shall go and audit village per village and we shall discover. If you have committed forgery, the registrar or the politician who ordered,  you all shall go to jail. The game is finished; the voting is by lining and if you miss-add, you are ‘miss-add’ yourself,” Museveni said.

Museveni’s speech came shortly before that of Justine Kasule Lumumba, the secretary general of the NRM who called upon the president to reign over some senior people who with impunity were freely changing the results of the elections.

“Some of our staff were lured into changing declaration forms on the way forgetting that people who had participated at the village don’t need to write; they registered the record in their faces…Some have done things with impunity… in Butemba county Kyakwanzi district, one of the candidates who got 3,000 votes brought in soldiers, cordoned off that place and was declared a winner and off they went away,” Lumumba said. 

The ball is now in Ochola’s court to get the police to execute their duties professionally and with impartiality. In March 2017, President Museveni warned Ochola’s predecessor Kale Kayihura to clean the police force of wrong elements. As months passed with no visible sign of police officers shaping up, Museveni resorted to other security agencies who started arresting rogue senior police officers and charging them in the military court for various crimes.

Kayihura was then removed from office, arrested and jointly charged with the errant officers in the army court. To avoid similar fate, Ochola is likely to use a firmer hand on the police officers so that by the time of the February 2021 elections, there is no laxity in the force’s execution of its mandate to maintain law and order.

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