Prominent city lawyer, David Balondemu of Balondemu & Co. Advocates, doubling as Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Land Board chairman has been remanded until 6th November 2023, as he battles charges arising from a 53kg gold deal scam.
He was arrested on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) and police upon complaints that he had defrauded Hyun UK Kim, a Korean investor of $600,000 (Shs2.2 billion).
His arrest came days after police together with SHACU, arrested and arraigned two suspects identified as James Mugisha Jeff and Maviri Godfrey before the KCCA Chief Magistrates Court for involvement in defrauding the Korean investor. The accused were charged with obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to commit a felony.
WHAT EXACTLY TRANSPIRED? It is alleged that between August and November 2021, Kim was defrauded over US$300,000 (Shs1.1 billion) in a 53kg gold scam in Kampala. The investor was introduced to the deal by Mugisha James Jeff who allegedly knew Balondemu as the gold ‘seller’. It is said that during all interactions, Maviri was always in the company of the gold ‘seller’.
BALONDEMU’S TROUBLES & MORE SCANDALS: He has been the chairman of Kampala Land Board since 2020, following his appointment by the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, and his appointment faced opposition from some whistleblowers who at the time accused him of involvement in several fraud cases. At the time, Balondemu had been among the city lawyers investigated by Kibuli CID department for working with gold dealers to fleece unsuspecting foreign investors of billions of money through fake gold deals.
The State House Anti-corruption Unit has also confirmed that Balondemu claimed that he didn’t know the said investor, but he was pinned by photo evidence of him meeting the investor and his group, plus receipts clearly indicating Balondemu & Co. Advocates and transactions related to this scandal.
RELATED STORY: UGX800,000 FINE IN OVER 900 MILLION THEFT SCANDAL: WHAT NEXT FOR FORMER CEO LOTTERIES & GAMING REGULATORY BOARD EDGAR AGABA