Mukesh Shukla, the Executive Director of Shumuk Aluminium Investment Limited is out on bail. He was released on Tuesday evening by the Buganda Road Court Grade one Magistrate, Stella Amabirisi shortly after being charged with 13 counts of forgery, uttering a false document and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Court heard that Mukesh together with others still at large forged documents for the official handover of Hotel Diplomat located in Muyenga to him. The hotel belongs to the late Bonny Katatumba, the former Pakistan Consul in Uganda.
Mukesh purportedly forged the signature of members of Katatumba’s family including Angella Katatumba, Annie Grace Katatumba, Bonny Katatumba, Rugirwa Katatumba and Ian Katatumba on April 17th, 2015 and November 2017 authorizing him to take over the hotel officially.
He also purportedly forged the signature of George William Kalyegira, the officer in charge of the security of the Chief Justice.
Mukesh pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying he isn’t a criminal. He applied for bail through his lawyer, Odekel Opolot on grounds that he has a fixed place of aboard, has no pending cases, has never been convicted of any offense and has substantial sureties.
He presented city businessmen Henry Kasirye Kavuma of African Safaris Uganda Limited, Elno Bamwine of Master Links Limited and Sulaiman Kanamara, the Manager Slow Boat Properties Limited, saying they were his longtime friends.
The State Prosecutor, Miriam Njuki objected to the bail application, saying they needed time to verify whether the suspect has a fixed place of aboard. Njuki also said that she had contacted the Investigating Officers, Martin Onguti and Amos Obura and discovered that the accused hadn’t deposited his passport with court despite being given police bond.
Opolot explained that his client had left some documents with the Jinja Road Divisional Police Commander. Amabirisi who had earlier refused to listen to other bail applications, saying she was tired later granted Mukesh bail, saying the offenses are bailable.
She ordered him to pay 3 million Shillings in cash and asked each of his sureties to execute bond of Shillings 10 million. She confiscated Identity cards of the sureties until Mukesh presents his original ID and Asian Passport on November, 21st, 2018.
According to media reports, Katatumba allegedly sold his hotel to Shumuk Investments Limited at USD 630, 000. But Shumuk only paid US$D 110, 000 in cash. The defunct Crane Bank reportedly retained US$ 420, 000 to offset Shumuk’s debts.
Prior to his death, Katatumba told this publication that he only sold Katatumba suites on Plot 2 Colville Street to Shumuk Investments Limited. The case shall return to court on November, 26th for mention.