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Robert Kwesiga: Red Cross Boss, Wife ordered to explain source of US$ 300, 000 wealth in Zimbabwe

Harare: The prosecutor general, through the Asset Forfeiture Unit, has approached the High Court in Zimbabwe for unexplained wealth and a freezing order concerning houses owned by Robert Kwesiga and Sandie Hilda Kwesiga.
Kwesiga is the Secretary General of the Uganda Red Cross Society (URSC). The Asset Fortfeiture Unit’s Senior Counsel, Chris Mutangundura, wants the couple to explain the acquisition of their two houses with a combined market value of US$300,000 in Harare’s low-density suburbs of Mt. Pleasant and Vainona when the sole declared source of income was a Danish Red Cross worker. Kwesiga served with the Danish Red Cross in Zimbabwe between 2007 and 2013 and lived in the country with his wife during the period, but has since relocated to Uganda. 
In the judgment delivered last week, Justice Benjamin Chikowero granted the application by the Prosecutor-General to give Kwesiga an opportunity to explain their wealth, should they wish to do so. 
The judge also considered it necessary to make an interim freeing order to avoid any quick sale of the houses to ensure there would be no loss if a confiscated order, benefit order, or civil forfeiture order were granted. The judge also gave the couple 30 days to provide a satisfactory explanation of how they managed to buy the properties. Failure to do so will result in the houses being declared tainted and subsequently confiscated by the state. Kwesiga and his wife are expected to give an explanation of their wealth in June, after the expiration of the 30-day period. 

The story was first published in The Herald on May 20, 2024.

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