By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) on Sunday arrested Sirajje Ssemanda, a lead Pastor at Revival Ministries Church operating from Bombo over fraud. The suspect was intercepted at Mutukula border as he attempted to flee the country via Tanzania, after he allegedly embezzled over sh4b from vulnerable people.
“Sirajje Ssemanda, a lead pastor at Revival Ministries Church, Bombo has been arrested along the Mutukula border as he tried to escape to Tanzania for allegedly defrauding over 400 private school owners and thousands of parents of vulnerable children,” State House confirmed via Facebook.
It was not yet clear where Ssemanda had been detained but sources said he would be transferred back to Kampala.
Over sh4b had been defrauded by him on promises of getting them scholarships, trips abroad and connecting them to Operation Wealth Creation.
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Meanwhile, sources have established that presidential advisor on Kampala Affairs also singer Catherine Kusasira and Pastor Mugisha Mondo are the next on the wanted list and are currently under a state of fear and anguish over the same charges after being suspected of being accomplishes of Sirajje in commiting the crimes.
Our sources from State House have revealed that there was a meeting on Saturday held by a group of pastors under their umbrella body-Hands Across the World who cried to the State House Anti Corruption Unit Head Lt Col Edith Nakalema that Kusasira, Mondo and Sirajje solicited from them over Shs5 billion in the promise of foreign trips to Israel as well as taking them to President Yoweri Museveni.
“They collected money from us promising to take us to Israel, pay school fees for our children as well as involving us in income-generating schemes under Operation Wealth Creation. Each one of us paid more than Shs100, 000 but since then we have never received anything,” one of the pastors cried to Col Nakalema.
“One time we had a meeting and Catherine Kusasira told us that she was representing the President. She assured us that whatever we were promised was to be fulfilled,” he added.
On her part, Col Nakalema assured the aggrieved pastors that their issue would be investigated and worked upon accordingly.
“On behalf of the State House, we are very sorry for what happened to you. We are going to work with the responsible authorities to ensure that justice prevails,” Nakalema asserted.
However, responding to the allegations, Pastor Mondo said on Sunday that he has never been a director of Hands Across the World organization and that he is just a victim of Pastor Ssemanda.
”Ladies and Gentlemen I’m. Here to make this clear and to clear the air, I have never been a Director in Hands Across the world organization, I’m not a Director I have not a signature on any document of this organization. Just to make this clear I’m a silent victim like many,” Mondo said.
He added, ”Pastor, Silajje Invited me like many of the preaching guests he invited after I became a victim. He has been inviting many high profile people to his church. I find it funny my name on Media…Tarnishing my name. I don’t work for Presidents office. I have never written to anybody in the name of the president, it’s all blackmail.”