President Yoweri Museveni has met some of the victims of a fraud case in which several pastors were defrauded of money to a tune of shs4.5 billion in non-existent promises.
The group which also included whistleblowers met the President at the Morulinga State Lodge in Karamoja.
“I met with the victims who lost billions of shillings to a one Pastor Siraje Ssemambo (dealing with some gov’t officials) in the name benefiting from government programs. I condemn this act and therefore direct that whoever was involved in this scam is arrested henceforth,”Museveni tweeted.
A whistleblower earlier this month petitioned the State House Anti Corruption Unit following a scam in which over 600 people lost huge sums of money in a non-existent deal where they had been promised among others trips abroad, benefits from government programs under Operation Wealth Creation and bursaries for their children.
Consequently, pastor Siraje Ssemanda was arrested as he tried to flee the country whereas self-styled pastor Mondo Mugisha and singer Catherine Kusasira were quizzed by the State House Anit-Corruption unit.
According to petitioners, the group collected money from followers under the pretext of organizing trips for them to South Africa and Israel under the umbrella Hands Across the World Initiative Uganda.
Whereas the followers from different churches paid millions, the trips have up to now never materialized.
According to Apostle Edward Masaba of Tororo who is one of the petitioners, 20 people paid Shs 910,000, 15 people paid Shs 950,000 and 15 paid Shs 1 million each.
The victims also told the head of the State House Anti-Corruption unit that the pastors in question have been lining up state agents under the disguise of connecting them to meet President Museveni to woo for him voters in the forthcoming 2021 general election.
“They told us that we were to meet [Lucy] Nakyobe but she also didn’t show up. We saw Catherine Kusasira. We were 3000 pastors,” Steven Naaya of Host Centre Ministry said.
Priscilla Susan Ijoku of Shalom Nursery and Primary School in Soroti said that she has been a supporter of President Museveni and campaigned for him even without meeting him but she was duped by the two pastors into paying to meet the president.