Ms Stella Nazziwa says on getting her passport back, she noticed the difference in the passport number on the visa. PHOTO/ COURTESY


State House probes fake US visa scheme

What you need to know:

  • The issue was brought to the anti-corruption unit’s attention by Ms Stella Nazziwa, who accuses Mr Robert Kasibante of conning her of millions of shillings with the promise of a US visa.

The State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) has launched an investigation into the issuance of fake USA visas, this publication can reveal.
The official in-charge of the case said the issue was brought to their attention by Ms Stella Nazziwa, who accuses Mr Robert Kasibante of conning her of millions of shillings with the promise of a visa that turned out to be a load of hot air.
“It is true we are investigating the issue because apparently, he had issued a visa, there was a picture but we understand the visa was fake,” an SHACU official said, adding, “We are investigating the fake visa because he does not even deny taking the money. He had promised to pay the money.” 

Records show that in July, Mr Kasibante, the managing director of Victory School of Beauty Nateete, was arraigned in Buganda Road Court on charges of forgery, uttering a false document and obtaining money by false pretence from two other persons. We could not establish the progress of the case.
In an interview, Ms Nazziwa took us back to February when she was introduced to Mr Kasibante. A promise of easily acquiring a USA visa was dangled, which was exciting news given the arduous process of acquiring one.
She had hoped to bolster her fortunes in one of the world’s biggest economies after eight years of toiling away in Kuwait.

“He said it would cost me Shs12 million. Shs7 million was to be paid prior, while the other Shs5m would be paid after the trip. After a week, I gave him all the money I had—$400 (Shs1.5 million). Then Shs500,000,” she narrated.
Ms Nazziwa said she was “shocked” when Mr Kasibante told “me my visa was ready.” This, she added, was “after a few days.” Her biodata had not been captured, but Mr Kasibante assured her that this “would be done at the airport.” The swift turnaround meant that Ms Nazziwa had to fork out Shs3.5 million.

Accused: Robert Kasibante

“I borrowed the money and handed it over. Then I handed over Shs1 million for an air ticket,” Ms Nazziwa revealed, adding, “That is when the ping pong started.”

On getting her passport back, Ms Nazziwa noticed the difference in the passport number on the visa. She promptly filed a case at Natete Police Station, where a file of obtaining money by false presence was opened. 
Eventually, the parties reached an agreement to have the money paid back. Ms Nazziwa, however, accuses the officers of frustrating her case by asking for bribes, which pushed her to reach out to the SHACU.
“All I need is for him to pay me back the money so I could pay those I owe, but to date, he has not honoured this. I just want the money so I can pay the debts,” Ms Nazziwa told this publication.
With hindsight, she cannot wrap her head around how she missed all the red flags of the purported fixer. Ms Nazziwa explained that Mr Kasibante colluded with some officials in government entities to make his clients part of government delegations travelling for duty.

“He told me I would travel with officials from the Ministry of Education, who were going to the USA for a tour,” she revealed.
On pressing what her fate would be on arrival in the USA, where she did not know anybody, she did not a plan of any kind. “He told me they have fixers who would connect me and ease the settling in. I even hurriedly renewed my passport, thinking this was an unmissable deal,” she said.
Ms Mariam Mwiza, an activist with Overseas Workers Voice Uganda, opines that Ms Nazziwa’s story has all the elements of human trafficking.

“From her story, this is very suspicious because you cannot take a person without telling them what job they will be doing. It has all the signs of human trafficking,” she said, adding of Mr Kasibante, “He also intimidates people and takes advantage of a photo with the President.”
Ms Nazziwa said throughout her interaction with Mr Kasibante, he talked up his connections to President Museveni and other big shots in government.
We reached out to Mr Kasibante, he declined to speak after hearing the allegations, claiming he was driving. Our repeated calls to him had not been answered by press time.


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