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Museveni vows to help Ssemanda victims recover their billions

By Eddie Ssejjoba

Added 21st November 2020 09:37 AM

The President was concerned that the scam involved government officials and directed that whoever was involved must be arrested immediately.

Museveni vows to help Ssemanda victims recover their billions

Museveni meeting pastors and other leaders who were fleeced. PPU photo

The President was concerned that the scam involved government officials and directed that whoever was involved must be arrested immediately.

President Yoweri Museveni has condemned the alleged act by Pastor Sirajje Ssemanda of the Revival Church Bombo to fleece fellow pastors, private school directors and followers of billions of shillings purporting to connect them to various government programmes.

The President was concerned that the scam involved government officials and directed that whoever was involved must be arrested immediately.

The President said this on Friday when he met a group of 10 pastors and school directors who are said to have been duped by Ssemanda.

Ssemanda allegedly duped many when used churches of the Born-Again faith and introduced to them various programmes, including Operation Wealth Creation, scholarship schemes of helping the needy, nutrition programme for babies, and quick jobs with the Ministry of Health to work with the COVID-19 national taskforce.

The pastors, having been convinced by Ssemanda, who worked through organisations formed using fellow pastors, mobilized massively through their churches and asked people to register with a fee for each program but nothing materialised.

Speaking to the group that represented the victims during a meeting at Morulinga State Lodge in Napak district, the President also promised to forward the matter to Parliament and ask legislators to help the group and those that incurred losses during the scam recover their money.

The group, led by Apostle Edward Masaba, who actively participated in mobilising schools and churches to register for the schemes under the Pastors Prosperity and Followers' Scheme, where he was the president, headed the group that handed over a Memo to the President and got chance to explain what they were going through for the last two years.

Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, which is investigating the matter attended the meeting.

Nakalema launched investigations into the scam after a whistle blower sent her a message explaining the details of the fraud and invited them to her office.

She immediately started hunting for Ssemanda, who was intercepted at Mutukula border point trying to flee the country in the company of his wife and sister-in-law. He was returned to Kampala and on Monday he was charged at the Buganda Road Court. 

He was remanded to Kitalya Prison after denying all the 17 charges. The Unit also widened the investigations and summoned some of the people mentioned to be in close collaboration with Ssemanda.

Those summoned included singer Catherine Kusasira, Pastor Franklin Mondo Mugisha, Dr. Hillary Musoke alias Kisanja, a mobilizer in the Office of the President and Robert Rwakandere who also works in the President's Office, among others. They were, however, released on bond after writing statements as the investigations continue.

Several other people have continued to turn up at Nakalema's office with similar complaints against Ssemanda.  

 

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