By Spy Uganda
Legendary Ugandan musician Fred Hope Mukasa is involved in a bitter fight over property with his former wife Sheena Nakimuli Mukasa, with whom he parted ways in 2014.
Mukasa and Sheena’s marriage, which was solemnized on July 25th, 1992 at St Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe, collapsed after he eloped with a waitress only identified as Fiona, who was working at their former popular hangout called Sabrina’s Pub.
Mukasa and Fiona have since produced three children and live as husband and wife, although they have never been legally married.
Following Mukasa’s separation with Sheena, she filed a divorce at the High Court Family Division under file HCT-00-FDDC-0154 which was determined in her favour on June 17th, 2022, by Justice Dr. Joseph Murangira.
Sheena filed the case after learning that Mukasa wanted to throw her out of their multibillion property situated on Block 1, Plot 405 Mbubi Zone, Kibuga, in Lungujja, such that he could sell it off.
On learning about his plot to sell off the property, Sheena filed a petition at the Family Division of the High Court of Uganda vide Divorce Cause No.154 of 2019 against Mukasa.
However, in his ruling, Justice Murangira decreed that Mukasa and Sheena should share the property because they both acquired and developed it during the subsistence of their marriage.
In his ruling, Justice Murangira stated thus; “In closing and in total consideration of the parties’ pleadings, each party’s evidence, the documents presented and relied on by each party in this case, the written submissions by each party, and for the fact that each issue was resolved affirmative, I enter judgment in favor of the petitioner (Sheena) in the following order: As per the partial consent judgment the parties’ marriage was dissolved on 23/03/2022 and a decree nisi was issued on that date.”
He continues that; “The matrimonial property composed in particulars aforementioned, remains a family property that was acquired and or developed by Sheena and Hope during the subsistence of their marriage. The petitioner and respondent are entitled to an equal share in the said matrimonial property. They shall share equally. From the evidence adduced by the petitioner in cross examination. The respondent is staying in plot 406 together with tenants and the petitioner resides together with tenants in plot 405, my considered view therefore, Block 1 plot 406 is the share of the respondent and Block 1 plot 405 becomes the share of the petitioner.”
Despite Justice Murangira’s ruling however, Mukasa was never satisfied, he has since kept the property battle raging on, which prompted Sheenah to hire the services of city bailiffs Kwesiga & Co. Advocates, whom she tasked to sell off her share on Block 1 Plot 405.
However, even then, Mukasa is not about to give up, because on learning about this, he decided to rush to court and file a Stay of Execution vide file No. HTC-00-FD-MA-0898-2022, in which he seeks a court order staying the execution of Justice Murangira’s orders.
Although the Miscellaneous Application filed by Mukasa is yet to be determined by court, he remains hell-bent on throwing Sheena out of the contested property without even a single penny, something she is not willing to accept.
Mukasa hinges his pursuit in a recent court ruling, in which the court of Appeal ruled that being married does not automatically guarantee 50% share of properties by spouses when they separate.
In a unanimous judgment on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022, a panel of three justices of the Court of Appeal held that the spouse’s share in the matrimonial property is not an automatic half-share but instead dependent on his/ her contribution to it.
“I would allow grounds 2, 3 and 5 of the appeal with the consequences that the order of the trial judge awarding the respondent 50 percent share in the suit property would be set aside,” ruled Justice Muzamiru Mutangula Kibeedi, who wrote the lead judgment.
Hope Mukasa used to live in Sweden with the family before he decided to return to Uganda in the 2000s to develop the Ugandan music industry. It should be noted that Mukasa promoted and managed singers Iryn Namubiru and Juliana Kanyomozi when they were still a duo girls group called Ijay.