KAMPALA – A handwriting expert has testified that signatures on the alleged court judgment authorising handover of the contested Hotel Diplomate in Muyenga suburb to city businessman Shukla Babubhai Mukesh aka Shumuk were forged.
Mr Erisa Ssebufu, the handwriting expert who doubles as a superintendent of police in the Directorate of Forensics told court that he received a CID request to establish whether the writers of the sample signatures on the purported court handover report on the hotel were the same as those on the specimen signatures.
Mr Ssebufu said he received the sample signatures from the controversial document and a photocopy of late Katatumba’s diplomatic passport and specimen signatures of the widow Anne Grace Katatumba.
“I found that the questioned signature on the exhibit attributed to the late Katatumba had a pictorial resemblance with the specimen signatures. However, a detailed examination showed fundamental differences between them. They differed in shape, design and also the crossing lines which were relatively longer on the specimen,” Mr Ssebufu said.
“I also found that the questioned signature attributed to Grace Katatumba is different from the specimen signatures. There was use of dotes in samples which is not observed in the specimen signatures, they are also different in proportion of loops,” Mr Ssebufu added.
He further testified that he examined the alleged signatures of the late Katatumba’s children Angela Katatumba, Rugirwa Katatumba and Ian Katatumba on the contested documents together with the specimen signatures and found glaring contradictions.
He concluded that it is most likely that the authors of the specimen signatures did not sign the questioned signatures on the said document.
Mr Ssebufu added that no request was made to him to examine the sample signatures of Mr Shumuk on the questioned document.
The state prosecutor Ms Miriam Njuki contends that Mr Shumuk and others still at large on or about April 17, 2015 in Kampala with intent to defraud or deceive forged a letter for official handover of Hotel Diplomate in Muyenga, a Kampala suburb, purporting to have been signed by the deceased Katatumba, surrendering the hotel to him.
It is still alleged that Shumuk also forged signatures of widow Grace Katatumba and children Angela, Rugirwa, Ian and ASP George William Karyegira.
Hotel Diplomate has been a subject of a long-standing dispute in court between Shumuk and former consular of Pakistan in Uganda Boney Mwebesa Katatumba (now deceased) and his family over ownership.
Mr Shumuk, the Executive Director of Shumuk Aluminum Industries, is charged with 13 counts of forging signatures of Katatumba and his family members. He is accused of forging a document purporting it to be a court judgment and official report of handing over the hotel to him.