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Tayebwa forgives woman who accused him of land grabbing, arresting husband in viral video

Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa (R) with Ms Esther Lubunde, the woman who falsely accused him of arresting her husband and grabbing their land in Entebbe (Photo/Handout)

Kampala, (UG): The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Thomas Tayebwa Wednesday met and forgave Esther Lubunde, the woman who appeared in a viral video falsely accusing him of arresting her husband and grabbing her land at Abaita Ababiri in Entebbe.

In the recorded video, Mrs Lubunde who appeared distressed mentioned two names; Nziza Patrick and Nkubiito Allan as Tayebwa’s men who reportedly took away her land and arrested her husband for failing to pay a legal fine amounting to Shs40M following a court ruling.

She also claimed to have reported the matter to various agencies, including the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SH-ACU) but received no help.

“The first time I recorded a video calling for help from [Edith] Nakalema, she apprehended the grabbers you use, Nziza Patrick and Nkubiito Allan. Shortly after they were produced in court, you ordered their release. I was advised to go to court, but even when I went to court, my lawyer was compromised,” said Mrs Lubunde in the video recording that has been shared widely on social media, before asking Tayebwa to release her husband and give them back their land.

As the idea garnered public attention, Tayebwa came out on Tuesday to address the claims and denied knowing the woman and the piece of land at Abaita Ababiri as alleged. The Deputy Speaker further asked the public to help him identify the woman and put him in touch with her.

Today, Wednesday, Tayebwa met with Mrs. Lubunde at Parliament, where she apologized for falsely accusing him of acts he has no knowledge about.

“This afternoon, I met with Esther Lubunde, accompanied by her father, sister, and lawyers, the lady who was misled to believe that I was involved in her ongoing land disputes, as shown in a viral video. She graciously apologized after realizing that I have no connection to the Tayebwa, in whose name the land under contention is registered,” Tayebwa said.

In a candid revelation, Tayebwa shared his compassionate response to the aggrieved lady’s plight. He disclosed that despite her initial approach through social media—a platform she turned to after unsuccessful attempts elsewhere—he forgave her wholeheartedly upon meeting her in person. He emphasized her frail health and deep desperation, acknowledging the pain caused by the misuse of social media to tarnish reputations and spread falsehoods.

“While I have accepted her apology, I kindly request that the public refrain from spreading unfounded and malicious messages about individuals they do not know. While my reputation has been irreparably damaged, at least Esther can now find peace knowing that I had no involvement in her situation. I would like to express gratitude to friends who helped me obtain her contact information following my passionate plea yesterday,” he added.

Reflecting on the gravity of the situation, Deputy Speaker Tayebwa expressed concern about the damaging impact of viral videos and misinformation, highlighting the challenges of restoring one’s reputation amidst such circumstances.

Moreover, he extended a heartfelt plea for assistance in identifying and establishing contact with the lady in question, emphasizing that the accusations against him regarding her land and the alleged arrest of her husband are baseless, as he has no land in Abaita and has never encountered her before.

Anti-Corruption Unit intervenes

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the State House Anti-Corruption Unit has come out and confirmed knowledge of the matter but noted that the Deputy Speaker has no involvement.

In a statement this Wednesday evening, the Unit said it first intervened in the matter in 2021, following a similar video by the same Esther Lubunde.

The unit’s investigations established that Dr. Lubunde Edward and his wife (Esther Lubunde) bought land from Nkubiito Allan without the consent of the Nkubiito family.

“Without knowledge of the sale to Dr Lubunde, the family also sold the same land to Nziza Patrick, who took possession and erected a structure on the land.”

The Lubunde family first reported the matter to Entebbe Police, under which the Lubunde family felt the case was being mismanaged.

Subsequently, they reported to SH-ACU, and it was through SH-ACU’s intervention that Nkubiito Allan and Nziza Patrick were charged with obtaining money by false pretense and criminal trespass.

While at SH-ACU, Nziza offered to settle the matter amicably, but the Lubunde family declined.

The Lubunde family instead filed a civil suit against Nkubiito Allan and Nziza Patrick, who also filed a counterclaim against the Lubunde’s and the Commissioner Land Registration (CLR) that the Lubunde’s title was acquired fraudulently.

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The State House Anti-Corruption Unit said that on March 27, 2023, the High Court (Land Division) ruled in favor of Nziza, and Dr. Lubunde was ordered to pay costs.

“Contrary to Esther’s claims, in all the interactions the Unit had with her and her husband, Dr. Lubunde, they did not at any one time present any complaint against the person of Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa,” the SH-ACU statement reads.

“The Unit has investigated claims of kidnapping raised in the most recent video by Mrs Esther Lubunde and established that he was not kidnapped but rather committed to a civil prison for failing to pay costs awarded against him in the civil case against Nziza. He is currently detained at Luzira Prison,” it adds.

The SH-ACU further said that Lubunde’s detention at Luzira prison is in the knowledge of his wife and other relatives who have visited him there, as captured in prison records, and that the Unit’s investigation team has since summoned Mrs Esther Lubunde to substantiate her claims.

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