KAMPALA — Sirajje Ssemanda, a lead pastor at Revival Ministries Church, Bombo who was arrested along the Mutukula boarder as he tried to escape to Tanzania on Sunday, was on Monday charged with 17 counts of obtaining money by false pretense.
Ssemanda appeared before Buganda Road Court before the charges were read to him. He has been remanded to Kitalya Prison.
He is accused of defrauding over 400 private school owners and thousands of parents of vulnerable children. Over UGX4Bn has allegedly been defrauded by him on promises of getting them scholarships, trips abroad and connecting them to Operation Wealth Creation.
The head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, said her team will work jointly with Police’s Criminal Investigations Directorate to expedite the investigations.
“He is a thief, whoever is associated with him is risking. Why I am judging like that before investigations is that there is proof of him taking people’s money without giving them anything,” she said.
The implicated pastor, working with a lawyer and another pastor, allegedly mobilised pastors and Christians to form an organisation, Hands Across the World Initiative Uganda. It is through this organisation they paid the money and were fleeced.
Pastor Edward Masaba, one of those fleeced, said in October 2017, Semanda mobilised and registered 279,606 needy people countrywide, including the orphans, elderly, widows, people living with HIV, PWDs, single mothers and new born babies who paid Shs25,000 each.
Other categories of payments made to the accused persons include schools and church renovation where 400 proprietors were each made to pay Shs130,000.