TOP
Friday,June 05,2020 11:08 AM

Bishop sent to Luzira over sh175m fraud

By Douglas Mubiru

Added 11th March 2020 08:47 AM

Others are Christopher Kajjumba, 51, a teacher residing at Kigandazi Zone, Bweyogere in Wakiso and James Kazibwe, 34, an ICT expert.

Bishop sent to Luzira over sh175m fraud

(L-R) Kalanzi, Bukema, Kazibwe, Kajjumba and Bishop Aaron Siribaleka in the dock on Tuesday at Buganda Road Court on charges of obtaining money by false pretence. (Photo by Douglas Mubiru)

Others are Christopher Kajjumba, 51, a teacher residing at Kigandazi Zone, Bweyogere in Wakiso and James Kazibwe, 34, an ICT expert.

 
A self-styled ‘bishop' has been charged and remanded to Luzira Prisons for allegedly fleecing parents over sh175m.
 
Bishop Aaron Siribaleka, 50, the chief director of Youth Vulnerable Children and Orphans (YVCO) alliance, a resident of Katovu-Malongo sub-county in Lwengo district was arraigned before Buganda Road Grade One Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza and charged with 15 counts of obtaining money by false pretense.
 
YVCO is an organisation purporting to provide child care, education, health and developing the vulnerable and orphans.
 
He was charged together with his co-director, Joram Bukema, 38, residing at Kawaala, Rubaga North division in Kampala and Jode Kalanzi, 45, a pastor who resides at Yesu amala Zone, Nansana town council in Wakiso district.
 
Others are Christopher Kajjumba, 51, a teacher residing at Kigandazi Zone, Bweyogere in Wakiso and James Kazibwe, 34, an ICT expert residing at Kansanga in Makindye division.
 
The accused pleaded not guilty. On denying the charges, the state prosecutor, Patricia Cingatho, told court that investigations into the matter were still ongoing. 
 
"Your honour, several cases have been opened up in different parts of the country, pinning the accused, mainly ‘Siribaleka' for fleecing millions of shillings from people.
 
"We are yet to sanction all those files upon accomplishment of investigations," Cingatho said. 
 
This prompted the defense lawyer, Jamil Mpiima, to request court to grant the accused bail on grounds that they had substantial sureties yet they were sole breadwinners to their families.
 
"The accused are presumed innocent until proved guilty. We, therefore, pray that court grants them bail and sh1m fee be appropriate as court bond," Mpiima said.
 
In reply, prosecution prayed for stringent bail terms if court was to consider bailing the accused.
 
The state's request for rigorous bail terms was that the case involves colossal sums of money.
 
The trial Magistrate bonded the accused sh2m each and ordered them to deposit their national identity cards to court.
 
"Considering each of the state and prosecution submissions, I hereby grant you bail of sh2m each retain your national identity cards in this court," Muhumuza said.
 
He also ordered Siribaleka, the ring leader to deposit a land certificate worth the alleged money in court, or deposit cheques possessing the same amount to court.
 
"And you are hereby demanded to deposit 50% of the said money to the court cashier, if these terms are reached, this court bails you," he said as he adjourned the case to March 20.
 
However, the accused were remanded as they failed to fulfill court's cash bond of sh2m.
 
The charge
 
The prosecution asserts that the accused and others still at large, in 2019 with intent to defraud, obtained over sh46m from Vincent Ouma, sh18m from Catherine Katumba and Julius Lukyamuzi by pretending that they were going to top up school fees for their children, whereas not.
 
They also fleeced sh10m from Rose Nantale, over sh8m from Deborah Kitonsi, over sh7m from Julius Luyimbazi and sh2m from Annet Karuuba.
 
That over sh4m was obtained from Mary Nawooma, over sh3m from Willington Twinomujuni and Betty Oyella.
 
Others who lost millions of shillings to the accused are Pastor Fred Serugo, Juliet Namukasa, Fenikansi Kisakye, Fred Tamale and Julian Namirembe, all totaling to over sh176m.
 

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author