City Pastor sentenced to two years in prison for fraud, must pay a $405 million fine

A well-known pastor was found guilty by the Buganda Road Court and sentenced to two years in prison. Jimmy Arinaitwe and Pastor Sirajje Semanda of the Revival Church in Bombo both appeared before Chief Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu on Tuesday and were ordered to pay a fine of 405 million Shillings.

The two were apprehended in 2020 for defrauding more than 5,000 unsuspecting people, including 400 private school proprietors, of over 4 billion Shillings. Through Operation Wealth Creation, the two created the “Hands Across the World Initiative,” a money-making scheme in which they deceived the public into thinking they would provide scholarships to underprivileged children, offer trips abroad, and provide contacts to obtain funding (OWC).

But when nothing they promised came to pass, their victims complained to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, which led to the arrest of the offenders. On November 17, 2020, Pastor Sirajje Semanda and the lawyer made their initial court appearance before Luweero Grade One Magistrate John Paul Obuya on charges of conspiring to obtain money fraudulently in violation of section 309 of the Penal Code Act and obtaining money by false pretense in violation of section 305 of the same code.

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Later, the case was moved to Buganda Road Court, where it has been pending for the past two years, with a conviction scheduled for Tuesday, January 10, 2023.

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