Frank Gashumba, a faded city Socialite who became popularly known for his pressure group Sisimuka Uganda, which was very critical of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, is in the news, once again.
This time around, Gashumba, who has since crossed over to the NRM party, which he used to criticize, is involved in a bitter war with the Office of the National National Chairman, accusing the head, Hajjat Hadijja Namyalo Uzeiye, of allegedly depriving him of a deal for printing campaign T-Shirts and caps for President Yoweri Museveni’s 2026 presidential campaigns.
Gashumba, who is nowadays affiliated with the MK Group, claims that he had secured a deal to print T-shirts and caps worth over Shs400M, but it was frustrated by Namyalo, who instead gave it to someone else at the ONC.
Gashumba claims that he coined the slogan ‘Omalako Jajja, Tova Ku Main’, which was meant to urge Museveni to run for another term in 2026.
He alleges that having coined the slogan, he went ahead and opened up a printer, bought machines and started printing T-shirts and caps with the said slogan, but was shocked thereafter to learn that Namyalo gave the deal to someone else.
“I came up with the idea for the slogan and the campaign materials. You saw all the pull-up banners and billboards that were put all over Kampala; that was my idea,” Gashumba said in an interview with the media on Monday.
He added; “I did all that with one target in mind; the elections of 2026. I realized that in case President Museveni contested again for the presidency in 2026, I would have the capacity to print at least 5 million campaign T-shirts. However, she (Namyalo) betrayed me and gave my business to someone else.”
Gashumba, who claims that Namayalo gave his business worth over Shs400M to someone called Ephraim, who also works at the ONC, contends that by the time he lost the deal he had stocked T-shirts worth around Shs.800M, including the printer he had bought.
However, all of Gashumba’s allegations have since been trashed by Namyalo, who revealed to the media that whereas it is true the deal had been initially given to him, it was later given to someone else after he (Gashumba) failed to the quality of T-shirts that had been agreed upon in time, on top of using a wrong slogan.
“We allowed him to produce samples of what we wanted, however, he not only printed the wrong slogan on the t-shirts but the samples were also of substandard quality compared to what we had agreed upon with him,” officials at ONC told this website on Tuesday.
On her part, Namyalo added that she had no time to comment about Gashumba’s issues, noting that he knows the truth and that it will come out at the right time.
“I have no time to comment about Gashumba’s issues,” Namyalo said, adding; “We are too busy for that. But the truth is known and will come out. To give you a clue, just go look for clips on the day we launched in October 2022.”
The officials at ONC went ahead and put Gashumba on task to adduce evidence to support any of his allegations, something that he said he has already done and is willing to do again.
“I am the authority, father, and DNA of that slogan. The branding is me,” Gashumba argued, adding, “About the evidence, URSB requested it. We brought computer stamps. When you start designing a logo, the computer captures the date and location if it is connected to the internet. We are going to avail more evidence.”
But in reply to his claims, officials at the ONC have since challenged Gashumba to produce evidence indicating that he was contracted to do the said job, plus availing them with the procurement contract if he ever signed any with them.
However, it was also revealed by ONC officials that Kitatta had nothing to do with the slogan because, by the time he joined the office, the slogan had already been adopted and was being used.
They contend that Kitatta was only permitted to gazette the slogan under the name of the NRM Chairman’s Office, although he instead secured it under his name, one of the reasons why his appointment with the ONC was terminated, which in any case doesn’t give Gashumba any rights to claim patent rights to it.
No Stranger To Controversy
It should however be noted that despite Gashumba’s latest squabbles with the ONC, he is a man who is no stranger to controversy, because of his rather shady past.
For the record, Gashumba has over the years been cited in several fraud scandals and arrested at least twice, after his name was cited in criminal activities.
He was first arrested and arraigned before the public as a fraud suspect in October 2017, after he was arrested by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on allegations of purporting to work with the Ministry of Defence, with intent to defraud unsuspecting foreign investors.
The matter was brought to light by then-army spokesman Brig. Richard Karemire, who told the public during a press conference that Gashumba’s arrest “followed a whistleblowers report to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (MODVA) about a group that was planning to fleece an investor disguising as MODVA officials. The fraudsters, under the cover of a company named Flagship Group, purported to have been contracted by MODVA for sourcing, and had invited the investors to Golden Tulip Hotel in Nakasero for a meeting over a purported deal to supply UPDF with hundreds of Military Trucks.”
On the fateful day, Gashumba, who was part of the group fled the scene shortly after learning that they had been busted by security operatives. However, he was netted a few days later after he turned up as a lawyer for his brother Innocent Kasumba, who was among the suspects that had been arrested by the army.
Earlier on, Gashumba had been arrested for allegedly conniving with others to try to defraud a Turkish company dealing in fire trucks of over $28M, under the pretext of buying fire trucks for the government of Uganda.
Then police spokesperson Vincent Ssekate revealed that Gashumba had been arrested for among others impersonating Dr. Stephen Kagoda, the then Permanent Secretary Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Before that, Gashumba had earlier been arrested, charged and convicted for conspiracy to defraud Dfcu Bank of a colossal sum of money.
But that is not all; Gashumba was some time back also accused of allegedly defrauding millions of shillings from some Ugandans after he promised to secure for them jobs abroad, something he never did.
In a fully detailed statement they delivered to the police, Frank Businge, Dora Mwenyango and Arisen accused Gashumba of allegedly taking between 900 to 1000 US dollars from them through his company, Sarafina Skills Services, promising to take them to Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, only to later play hide and seek with them.
It is not clear how Gashumba managed to escape all these and other fraud allegations but the fact is that he is a man with a shady past, which has always seen him rub shoulders with the wrong side of the law.