Local gospel musician Margaret Kayima alias Maggie Kayima has been remanded for allegedly helping Pastor Siraj Ssemanda escape punishment after fleecing thousands of his followers more Shs4.5 billion in fake state house scholarship programmes.
In a session presided over by magistrate Dorothy Bagyenyi, Ms Kayima also commonly known as Nabbi Omukazi on Friday denied a charge of being an accessory to the offence.
Upon entering a plea of not guilty, the trial magistrate, Ms Bagyenyi opted to remand her until December 22, 2020 for mention of charges.
The state contends that on November 15, between Kampala and Mutukula border in Kyotera district, Kayima assisted Ssemanda, the founder of Revival Church Bombo in Luweero District, whom to her knowledge was guilty of an offence in order to enable him escape punishment.
Kayima’s co-accused include; Pr Ssemanda, and a lawyer, Jimmy Arinaitwe, the director of Hands across the world initiative Uganda limited.
Earlier, court remanded the duo on 12 counts; ranging from obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy.
Renowned pastor Franklin Mondo Mugisha of the Empowerment Christian Center Church International has also been summoned by court for plea taking over related charges.
Prosecution states that Pr Ssemanda, Arinaitwe, Pr Mugisha and others still at large, between 2017 and March 2019, in Bombo-Luweero and Kampala with intent to defraud, obtained millions from several people falsely pretending that their organization, Hands across the world initiative Uganda Limited, would construct churches for pastors, houses for the needy, offer scholarships and educate the needy children in the communities from whose parents the monies were collected.
Earlier, Pr Ssemanda was arraigned before Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court on two separate case files after he was arrested in a joint operation led by the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, and the police at Mutukula border with Tanzania while fleeing Uganda.
Grade One Magistrate Joan Cate Acaa remanded Pr Ssemanda after he denied any wrongdoing on 16 accusations.