Jailed MP Rukaari raises shs1.3bn in church construction fundraising drive

More than Shs1.3 billion was raised last Saturday at the launch of a fundraising drive for the construction of the Uganda Martyrs Catholic Parish Church in Mbarara City.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Norbert Mao disclosed this on his Twitter handle after the function at which he represented the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among.

“Thank you Mbarara Archdiocese for the warm welcome when I represented the Rt. Hon Anita Among, Speaker of Parliament, at the launch of the funds drive to construct a new church in the heart of Mbarara City. Over 1.3 billion shillings was raised,” Mao tweeted.

The fundraising was organized by the Mbarara City North Member of Parliament Robert Rukaari Mwesigwa.

According to Rukaari the construction of the church is his flagship project in his constituency.

The business mogul did not attend the function as he was locked up in Luzira over what is developing into a controversial business arrangement with a Kampala-based businessman.

At the function, Mao, who stated that he is a friend to Rukaari since their days at Makerere University, announced the MP’s own contribution of Shs10 million which he carried in cash.

Mao told the congregation that he has personally seen Rukaari build his business from scratch.

“Unlike many of you that are seeing Rukaari now as a politician and a rich man, I saw him when we were still eating posho and beans at Makerere. Later he started his procurement business which he has grown into a multi-billion shilling empire with vast investement in the country and abroad,” Mao said.

“I know for a fact that Rukaari is owed billions by the government and it is only the Finance ministry that is yet to pay him. So how can one claim that such a person has failed to pay?"

Rukaari was on Wednesday evening committed to Luzira after lawyers of money lender Gerald Kalungi allegedly lured him into a meeting at which they had earlier planned to have him arrested.

Details emerging indicate that the lawyer, conniving with court bailiffs had acquired a court order committing the MP to Luzira despite the fact that the money lender is in possession of Rukaari’s land titles  that are said to be valued at more than the value of the loan.

Speaking during the fundraising, Mao stated that he is petitioning  the Judicial Service Commission to have the court officers involved in the unscrupulous arrest investigated.

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