Analysis

Lawyer Bob Kasango’s last words before he died will make you shed tears

“In all my life, I had never seen Lwamafa and Kunsa. I met them in court but the court has convicted me of conspiring with them. I respect that, my lord, but I will go to my grave protesting my innocence,” Kasango said.

BIG STORY: Controversial City lawyer Bob Kasango breathed his last on Saturday evening from Luzira Murchison Bay Prison due to allegedly a heart failure as he was being rushed to Mulago Hospital.

“My Uncle Bob Kasango has died due to heart failure. Last met him at the prison before COVID-19. Rest well my uncle you have been such a great lawyer outside and inside prison. We will always remember you for your kindness and generosity,” Kasango’s nephew a one  Bolton posted on social media.

Prisons spokesperson, Frank Baine said Kasango whose condition deteriorated at around 8pm died as he was being rushed to Mulago, adding that the body is at the referral hospital for postmortem.

In 2018, the Anti-Corruption Court  sentenced Kasango (16 years to Luzira Prison) , former Public Service officials Jimmy Lwamafa (9), Christopher Obey (14) and Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa (9) in jail for theft of sh15 billion meant for pensioners.

Justice Margaret Tibulya of the Anti-Corruption Court found him and the three officials guilty of diversion of funds, fraud, forgery, theft, and conspiracy to defraud government funds. She ordered that in addition to the 16 years in jail, Kasango should also compensate the government sh5 billion. Lwamafa was also ordered to compensate government 3 billion shillings.

Tibulya said that court relied on the recorded evidence by John Keitirima, then a registrar at the Civil Division of the High Court and now a Judge of the High Court.

Keitirima told court how Kasango asked him to help cover the forgeries so he can get money from government. The forged court documents included a bill of taxation and certificate of order purportedly issued by Charles Abola and 6,337 ex-servicemen who had sued Government demanding their pension.

According to the Commissioner-General of Prisons Dr.Johnson Byabashaija , Kasango’s sentence was to expire on December,20, 2034 but if he maintained good behavior, the earliest possible date of release would have been August,31, 2029.

Here are some of the excerpts of Lawyer Kasango during his trial for which he was sentenced to 16 years in prison;

‘I wear my defence as a crown’

“I pleaded not guilty. When I testified in defence, I took the Bible on my right hand – the only right hand I have – and swore to tell the truth and asked God to help me and told God the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

“This is your court and you are the judge, your word is law, mine an opinion,” said Kasango.

“This morning, you convicted me on several accounts. I am duty-bound both as a lawyer and a citizen to respect your decision, and I do. But I am not duty-bound to agree.

“I very respectfully disagree with your findings. I listened attentively to your analysis of the facts and the law I have listened to the submission of the prosecution on sentencing.

“On another day, I would have said I am remorseful, but the word ‘remorse’ is not an admission of guilt. I will never yield to my accusers if I didn’t do wrong. And I wear my defence as a crown and proudly so. It’s not out of tranziness but out of a very clear conscience that I address you,” said Kasango.

“As an example in your judgement, you dismissed the emails that I received from [John] Matovu to his brother, forwarding the court orders to my office and you stated it was another effort at falsifying docs.

“If I say I’m remorseful, it will mean that I’m admitting falsifying documents.

“As God knows I never falsify documents. The court provided me a projector, internet connection and I opened my email in the presence of everyone present. I opened emails exchanged in 2011. It is technologically impossible that I could have inserted Matovu’s email including the attachments.

“I hope you can appreciate why I disagree with you on this.”

“John Matovu, under oath, told court that he never asked his brother to give me the emails. That was contradicted by his brother. In your evaluation, you found him truthful of such crucial and glaring lies.

“In all my life, I had never seen Lwamafa and Kunsa. I met them in court but the court has convicted me of conspiring with them. I respect that, my lord, but I will go to my grave protesting my innocence.”

‘My heart and conscience are clear’

“I would have addressed you on circumstances of my health, but I will not go in details. Every day I live and breath by the grace of God. Before I was indicted, I had spent the better part out of the country.

“But each time the Police required me to interact with them I bought air tickets from US to come and interact with them. This investigation lasted two years, they sent me summons asking me to appear and take plea. At that time, I was in South Africa, but I dutifully returned.

“I could have absconded from jurisdiction. I have dutifully attended every single day of this court except when I was bedridden.

“What is it that makes our conscience clear? Is it our minds? Is it our hearts? My heart is clear and my conscience is clear about what I did and did not do in this case.

“I beseech you to understand when I say I am resisting from using the word remorse – because every single thing that I did and say was the truth.

“The letter of [Justice minister Gen. Kahinda] Otaffire was a personal letter to his fellow minister of finance at my behest. I would have told that I have young children, haven’t worked in the last three years of this case but that would be admitting guilt.

“I would have told you that the DPP investigated my wealth and found nothing. They wrote to every bank about me, about my family and found nothing.

“I would have told you that I have not worked for all that long due to ill-health and this case. I decided to represent myself in this case not because I think I know, but because I cannot afford legal representation.

“I never forged any document, never conspired with anybody and never stole any money. You have the discretion, I urge you to exercise your discretion in view of the submission I have made.

Shared by Kasango’s friend, John Njoroge.

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