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Scammed pastors, schools turn to Museveni after losing billions

By Eddie Ssejjoba

Added 19th November 2020 09:17 AM

They want the President to intervene and save their schools from being sold off by banks that loaned them money. Pastor Sirajje Ssemanda was intercepted at Mutukula border while trying to cross into Tanzania. He was produced in court and charged with 17 counts of obtaining money by false pretence. 

Scammed pastors, schools turn to Museveni after losing billions

Nakalema (centre) with pastors in her office, in Kampala

They want the President to intervene and save their schools from being sold off by banks that loaned them money. Pastor Sirajje Ssemanda was intercepted at Mutukula border while trying to cross into Tanzania. He was produced in court and charged with 17 counts of obtaining money by false pretence. 

At least 10 pastors and directors of private schools under the Bornagain Pentecostal Churches of Uganda have travelled to Moroto in Karamoja to meet with President Yoweri Museveni in connection with the fraudulent transaction in which they were cheated of billions of shillings. 

The group, which on Monday met the head of the State House Anti-corruption Unit, Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema have pinned Pastor Sirajje Ssemanda of the Revival Church in Bombo as the prime suspect in the scam.

Pastors, school directors, parents and guardians were duped into joining non-existent schemes, through which they were cheated. On Tuesday November 17, 2020 they met the state minister for higher education, Dr. J.C Muyingo, and permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza. Kakooza assured them that the President was aware of their plight and would handle their matter. 

The group members who travelled on Wednesday November 18, said they were asked to first test for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

They want the Government to intervene and save their schools from being sold off by banks that loaned them money to look after thousands of children enrolled after pastor Ssemanda told them he had secured bursaries for needy children, whereas not.

Pastor Sirajje Ssemanda at in the dock at Buganda Road court where he was charged

Each child was asked to pay sh25,000 as registration fee. They said among those cheated included directors of 250 schools in Kenya. She said Pastors under the request of Ssemanda, crossed to Kenya through Malaba and contacted bornagain private schools to recruit needy children, promising to pay their tuition.

They said on several occassions, the Kenyan directors were invited to Uganda by Ssemanda to sign MOUs, but they never received any money.

Ssemanda was on Sunday November 15, 2020 intercepted at Mutukula border while trying to cross into Tanzania and returned to Kampala. He was produced in court at Buganda Road and charged with 17 counts of obtaining money by false pretence. He was remanded to Kitalya prison until December 2, 2020. 

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