Five people, among who are two pastors, have been remanded to Luzira Prisons for allegedly defrauding parents of Shs175m.
The group, which includes Bishop Aaron Siribaleka, 50, Pastor Jode Kalanzi, 45, Joram Bukema, 38, Christopher Kajjumba, 51 and James Kazibwe, 34, on Wednesday appeared before Buganda Road Grade One Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza for their hearing.
Operating Youth Vulnerable Children and Orphans (YVCO) alliance, the group allegedly took money from several parents promising to top up school fees for their children, a promise they failed to fulfill.
Magistrate Muhumuza read to the accused 15 counts of obtaining money by false pretense. They denied the charges.
The state prosecutor, Patricia Cingatho, told court that the group has been previously implicated in many cases of fleecing parents of their money promising to pay their children’s school fees.
“Your honour, several cases have been opened up in different parts of the country, pinning the accused, mainly Siribaleka for fleecing millions of shillings from people,” she said.
Cingatho asked court not to grant the suspects bail, saying they could tamper with ongoing investigations.
However, the defense lawyer, Jamil Mpiima, asked court to grant the accused bail on grounds that they had substantial sureties and had families to look after.
The magistrate granted them bail of Shs. 2m each and asked them to deposit a land title equivalent to the money for which they are being accused of fleecing.
Failing to the two million court cash bond, the accused were remanded to Luzira prison until 20th March, 2020.