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Tayebwa pardons woman accusing him of land grabbing and arresting her husband

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The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa on Wednesday met and pardoned Esther Lubunde, the woman who appeared in a viral video accusing him of arresting her husband and grabbing her land at Abaita Ababiri in Entebbe.

In the recorded video, Lubunde who appeared distressed mentioned two names; Patrick Nziza Patrick and Allan Nkubiito as Tayebwa’s men who reportedly took away her land and arrested her husband for failing to pay a legal fine amounting to Shs40 million 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, Patrick Nziza and Allan Nkubiito. 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.

Yesterday, 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 Tayebwa, in whose name the land under contention is registered,” Tayebwa said.

He added, “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.

A statement released by the Anti-corruption noted that SH-ACU confirmed knowledge in which it first intervened in 2021 following a similar video by the same Esther Lubunde and then investigations kicked off.

“Dr. Lubunde Edward and his wife bought the land from Allan Nkubiito Allan without the consent of the family. Without knowledge of the sale to Dr. Lubunde, the family sold the same land to Patrick Nziza who took possession and erected a structure on the land,” the Anti-Corruption revealed.

On March 27, 2023, the high court ruled in favour of Nziza and Dr. Lubunde was ordered to pay costs.

Contrary to Esther’s claims, in all her interactions with the Unit had with her and the husband, Dr. Lubunde, they did not at any one time present any complaint against the person of Thomas Tayebwa.

The Unit has investigated claims of kidnap raised in the most recent video by 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.

The Unit added that his detention at the prison facility is in the knowledge of his wife and other relatives who have visited him there as captured in prison records.

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