Tycoon Kiwanuka's foster son asks court to name him heir - National | NTV

Tycoon Kiwanuka's foster son asks court to name him heir

By STEPHEN KAFEERO

Sunday September 22, 2019

 

Before the war currently raging between businessman Mohan Musisi Kiwanuka and his son Jordan Ssebuliba Kiwanuka, the extent of Mr Kiwanuka’s wealth remained a mystery.

The ongoing fight, however, has brought much of it to the fore.

Mr Kiwanuka, the husband of former Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, is a reclusive man who hates the limelight, and many people in Kampala would perhaps not put a face to his name before the current standoff in his family.

Those who know him say despite his vast wealth, he sometimes hops into commuter taxis on his way to transact business downtown.
He often wears plain short-sleeved shirts, which accentuates his ill-fitting image as a ‘common man’.

Those who have once sat next to Mr Kiwanuka in a commuter taxi through the dusty streets of Kampala and did not spare a thought for their co-passenger would be most astonished by the contents of documents deposited at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala.

“It is just and equitable that the court adjudges Mr Mohan Kiwanuka as a person of unsound mind so that his estate can be placed under proper management and that I be appointed Manager for the purpose,” Ssebuliba submitted to court in his application affidavit witnessed by Odogon Fabian, a Commissioner of Oaths. BKA Advocates represents Ssebuliba, a lawyer himself, in the case where he wants to become heir of his adoptive father when his father is still alive.

Mr Jordan Ssebuliba, a former company secretary in Mohan Kiwanuka’s businesses took his father to court claiming he was a lunatic who should not run his businesses.

Ssebuliba asked court to turn Mohan’s businesses to him and slapped caveats on all assets that belong to the businessman. Mohan Kiwamuka owns a significant chunk of real estate in Kampala’s leafy suburbs.

Mr Mohan Kiwanuka told Bukedde TV in a recent interview that Ssebuliba wasn’t actually his biological son. “His mother had an affair with her boss which resulted into a pregnancy that led to Ssebuliba’s birth.


I raised him as my own child because such cases were common in Buganda. His mother and indeed Ssebuliba himself have known this for many years,” the soft spoken Mohan Kiwanuka said.


Ssebuliba who claims that his father is too sick to run his empire and should be made heir bases his claims on an alleged report made in 2017 yet until two months ago, Ssebuliba was making deals with his father.

“Less than a month ago, Ssebuliba wrote to his father demanding compensation for planting trees and building a toilet at 7-Trees. He wanted Shs1 billion. Why was he negotiating with a person who is too sick to manage his properties?” wondered a law professor at Makerere University who refused to be named.

In the application to court, Ssebuliba didn’t anywhere ask to be given powers to take his father to hospital rather for him becoming heir.


“From his application to court, the only interest is wealth,” the law professor added.

The case, a first of its kind,is challenging culture norms and elders are asking Buganda Kingdom to get involved.

We have never witnessed such a case before where a child biological or not asks court to make him heir of his father when his father is alive. In Buganda, we have well laid out processes that have been in existence for nearly 1,000 years of how children become heirs,” says John Nsereko, an elder from the Kkobe Clan, Mohan Kiwanuka’s clan.

“We follow the will of the father when he is deceased. Where he has not left a will, it is the daughters that elect the heir. But where a child demands to be heir of a father who is alive and well is something we have never heard of. This is a first one. I urge the Kabaka and the Katikkiro and all clan leaders and elders to tell the youth to desist from such demands that can put our heritage in disrepute,” Mzee Nsereko added.


Court already declined to recommend medical evaluation for Mr Mohan Kiwanuka, and Ugandans will be watching for ramifications on inheritance laws.