Ex Kigezi Association Leader, Johnson Mujungu, Wife, Sentenced in UK for Money Laundering

Johnson Mujungu, 53, a prominent Ugandan who previously served as the leader of the International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB), has been sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment in London, UK.

Kent Police, UK, announced that Mujungu and his wife, Grace Ntolera-Mujungu, 42, who were living in Northfleet were “found guilty of money laundering” and “sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court.”

Its alleged the couple of Struttons Avenue, received from Lee Finch of Essex a payment of £120,000 illegally and transferred it into a number of different accounts linked to them both.

Mujungu and wife said they thought the deposit was for other work.

In August 2017, the victim received a call that he needed to pay inheritance tax to a firm of solicitors linked to his late grandmother’s estate.

Email intercepted

An email from the solicitors giving instructions on how to transfer the amount due was then sent.

However, the email was intercepted by the defendants and a different account was provided resulting in the victim paying them the money instead.

When the victim realised the money had not been paid to the solicitors, he contacted the police and an investigation was launched.

Officers discovered the money had been paid into a business account owned by Ntolera-Mujungu and on receipt of the payment, it was immediately dispersed into several other bank accounts owned by her and her husband Johnson Mujungu.

“Ntolera-Mujungu denied charges of transferring and converting criminal property and Mujunga denied a charge of converting criminal property,” reads a statement by Kent police.

“A jury found them both guilty and they were sentenced on Friday 28 February 2020.”

Johnson Mujunga received two and a half years’ imprisonment and Ntolera-Mujungu was given an 18 month sentence, suspended for two years.

Mujungu, an Information Technology expert, was previously a promoter of Ugandan comedian Anne Kansiime.

Cruel fraud

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Mark Newman of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “This fraud was particularly cruel because the victim had recently lost a family member and he then had to pay the inheritance tax twice.”

He added: “This couple used the money to pay off debts and pretended that it was a payment for a business transaction. I am pleased we have been able to track where the money went and bring those involved to justice.”

The couple which was previously active on social media has been quiet for the last four years.

The police report is a big blow to Mujungu’s reputation.

He was an opinion leader and influential Banyakigezi leader in the diaspora.

Between 2006 and 2016, Mujungu deputised for the Head of Information Technology at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.

He was responsible for leading a 9-member IT team’s successful delivery and maintenance of information systems, IT programs and the supporting infrastructure to over 350 employees across 3 locations in London, New York and Geneva.

Mujungu describes himself as the ‘Mukiga nomad from Kihembe Village destined to influence the world’.

In 2014 interview with ChimpReports, Mujungu said he was born in Kihembe village, Kanungu District where he attended his primary studies at Kihembe Primary School.

He attended secondary school in Kampala.

He has lived and worked in Swaziland, former Bophuthatswana Homeland in South Africa, Canada, US and now UK.

In 2014, Mujungu ended an 18 year career in Information Technology to focus on Talent Management, public relations especially in entertainment.

The couple’s company, Grajoh ran events including the 2beloved Gala, the Grajoh End of Year Concert and Afrikafest.

Grajoh promoter comedians Anne Kansiime and Patrick Salvado; and singers – Iryn Namubiru and Hazel Mak.

Mujungu was convicted on one money-laundering charge involving £50,000 while his wife was convicted on two charges for £120,000.

According to UK media, Judge Stephen Thomas said he regarded the husband as more culpable.

The judge said: “I had the opportunity to see you both give evidence (during the trial), and, as a finding of fact, I find that Mujungu was the prime mover in this scheme.

“And in my judgment his wife just went along with it, although she would have known what was happening.”

Ntolera-Mujungu survived going to prison after the judge heard she has a 10-year-old child.

Kent Police Officer Mark said police will now be carrying out further enquiries under the Proceeds of Crime Act to establish whether any money can be returned by Mujungu and his wife. 

“I hope that this outcome gives some consolation to the victim,” said Mark.

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