Masaka tycoon accused of instigating own wife's arrest over car gift

Masaka tycoon accused of instigating own wife's arrest over car gift
The couple in their good days before things fell apart

Mr Ronald Sserunkumba, who owns the Golden Hotel in Masaka City, has been married to Ms Winnie Namulunga but the relationship got estranged.

MASAKA | A distraught family in Masaka has accused tycoon Ronald Ssenkumba of instigating the arrest of his own wife after she left their marital bed.

Ms Winnie Namulunga remains in detention pending bail hearing by Masaka Grade I Magistrate Joshua Twongyeirwe, with the puzzling charges of stealing a car that was gifted to her by the man with whom she sired two children, her family says.

Mr Sserunkumba, who owns the Golden Hotel in Masaka City, has been married to Ms Namulunga but the relationship got estranged.

Details of the puzzling case was revealed to this news site by the family led by Ms Namulunga's father, Joseph Lubega, who said his daughter has been back under his roof after fleeing her marital home.

A divorce case was reportedly filed before court with the hearing set for Tuesday, May 21.

Ms Namulunga was arrested on Monday and remains in custody, which has left her family running frustrated with the legal system that they say is denying their daughter justice.

"I can't believe my daughter is being treated like a criminal," Lubega said, "Ssenkumba had given her the car, but now he's accusing her of stealing the same car. It's unfair."

Lubega and his family and well-wishers in court on Tuesday | Zainab Ssengendo

On Tuesday, the family arrived in court expecting temporary freedom for their daughter but Magistrate Twongyeirwe was nowhere to be seen.

The family was told he would not be handling business until Thursday, May 23. With frustrations boiling, the family stormed the court to show their dissatisfaction on how it was handling the case.

“Ronald beat my daughter badly and she left his home back to my place," Mr Lubega, flanked by his two other daughters Christine Birungi and Maurine Lubega Baluku, said.

"But after some time, he came home apologising to my daughter and he gave her a car as a reunion gift and we signed up a document where he confirmed that the car belongs to Winnie."

The Nile Post could not independently verify the claims as the alleged signed documents were not immediately available to this reporter.

However, the puzzle in the allegations only thickens when Mr Lubega and his daughters narrate the circumstances under which the car that Namulunga's  reportedly used for four years went missing.

A frustrated Lubega and his daughter Baluku ponder their next move after failing to secure Namulunga's freedom on Tuesday | Zainab Ssengendo

According to the allegations, Mr Sserunkumba came with police to his wife Namulunga's shop in Masaka and took away the car, a Toyota Premio registration number UBG 168Y.

But days later, an unnamed officer at Nyendo Mukungu Police Station told Namulunga that the vehicle had been given to her husband since she could not prove its ownership.

"Since then [last year] we've never seen the car,” Namulunga's sister Baluku said.

Mr Lubega claims Sserunkumba has already sold the car and wondered why he instigated Namulunga's arrest.

“I don't know why he does not live alone with my daughter. He took his car already,” he moaned.

Ms Baluku accused Ssenkumba of mistreating her for eight year and later of intimidation by demanding she withdraws the divorce case.

“Ssenkumba has always found ways to manipulate the system, but we won't give up," Ms Baluku said.

But Mr Ssenkumba has denied instigating his estranged wife's arrest and insisted they were not separated.

"She's just trying to tarnish my image," he said briefly.

The Lubega family vowed not to leave the court until Ms Namulunga got justice.

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