KABALE – The Chief Executive Director of Gatatu Safaris Limited Richard Tusasibwe has been charged and remanded for allegedly obtaining money by false presence from tourists.
Mr. Tusasibwe who runs the tour company based in Kigezi sub-region was arrested on August 12th 2019 by armed tourist police officers led by Tourism Police Commander-in-charge of Kigezi Region, Emmanuel Tinka while hiding in one of the Islands in Lake Bunyonyi.
Mr. Tusasibwe who is also a resident of Nyakibande village, Mwendo parish, Kitumba sub-county, Kabale district is alleged to have in late July 2019 signed a contract worth 21,500 US dollars equivalent to about shillings 79,422,075 million with a tourist identified as Dr. Lentschig Markus Gunter, a German national to facilitate a tour with his four family members in Uganda.
Tusasibwe received the whole amount after signing the contract with Gunter. The contract also required Tusasibwe to pick the tourists from Entebbe International Airport and drive them to Kisoro town as well as booking them accommodation, trekking permits, Park fees, Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking permit, game and boat drive fees, rhino sanctuaries and taxes among others.
Mr. Marcus paid a deposit of USD20, 000 (shillings 73,881,000 million) to Tusasibwe to help him on bookings and cleared the balance on 25th July 2019 when he arrived in Uganda.
However, when the tourists reached Kisoro town, Tusasibwe reportedly abandoned them at Chameleon Hill Hotel, switched off his phones and disappeared. The tourists were shocked to find that Tusasibwe did not book for them accommodation, despite having received full payment. It is when they reported the matter to police for help that Tusasibwe was tracked.
Mr. Tusasibwe on Thursday afternoon 15th Aug 2019 appeared before Kabale Chief Magistrates Court presided over by his worship Julius Kyaka Borore and was charged with obtaining money by false presence the charges he denied.
Tusasibwe’s lawyer, Justus Muhangi of Muhangi Justus & Partners Advocates tabled a bail application saying that “his client is the only sole bread winner of his family”.
Mr. Muhangi also paraded Mr. Gerard Naturinda aged 30, a businessman, Mr. John Byaruhanga,30,a night watchman and Mr. Innocent Atuheire,27, a farmer all from Nyakibande Village,Mwendo parish, Kitumba Sub County, Kabale district all friends of Mr. Tusasibwe to stand sureties of his client.
Prosecution led by Mr. Caleb Turyahabwe consented with Muhangi saying that he has no any objection against the bail application.
But, his worship Borore said that “his court needs more information about the sureties”.
Mr. Borore then remanded Tusasibwe to Ndorwa government Prison until August 21st 2019 when his bail application will be heard after analyzing a physical study report about the sureties.
On July 31st 2019, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during a press conference on operation wealth creation held at State Lodge Makanga in Kabale district ordered for the arrest of tour operators who cheat tourists and described them as “enemies of the country”.