About a Month ago, a source walked into our offices with info of how Pastor Ronnie Makabai aka Brother Ronnie, of Evangelical Truth Ministries (ETM), is a `fraud star` with a contingent of criminal cases lined against his name. As usual, we requested for documentary evidence to prove his claims. He did the needful and in two days, he emerged with an eight-page document.
The document is in a form of a complaint to the Commandant of Professional Standards Unit (PSU), a Police Department tasked with disciplining unprofessional and or errant Police Officers. It is authored by a one Joseph Kyomuhendo, the Chief State Attorney at the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
In the dossier, Kyomuhendo accuses Police officers at Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP), CID Headquarters and those of Katwe Police Station, of frustrating investigations into four cases against Brother Ronnie. These include charges ranging from alleged land grabbing, forgery to assault against Bro. Ronnie and others.
“In two of the files, the suspect, Pastor Ronnie Makabayi is accused of forgery of land sale agreements at the detriment of the rightful owners. In the other two files, Pastor Ronnie and his employees are accused of assaulting some of the people who are claiming ownership of the land that he is allegedly grabbing,” Kyomuhendo presented his case.
He lines up six complainants in the case of forgery. These are Nabweteme Margarete, George William Nyika, Kiku Samuel Muswangali, Nampijja Rose, Nsubuga Simon Peter and Nanju Jane, all daughters and sons to the Late Simon Muswangali who, reportedly owned part of the land onto which, Brother Ronnie`s ETM Church sits along Salaama Road.
Kyomuhendo, supposedly on behalf of the complainants, who would be the right people to sign off the letter, continues to accuse Bro. Ronnie of grabbing the land measuring 83 by 240 feet premised in Block 262, Kibuga, Plot 78 in Makindye. He claims that the complainants had initially rented out the land to Bro. Ronnie but that he breached the agreement before expanding his church, touching more space than provided.
“In a way of trying to resolve the impasse between them and the suspect, the complainants sold to him a plot of land… at a consideration price of 30,000,000/=. Even after purchasing the above-mentioned plot, the suspect continued encroaching on the complainants` land,” Kyomuhendo charges in the dossier he authored on 5th February 2021.
Whereas Kyomuhendo appreciates that Bro. Ronnie produced an agreement between him and the complainants` now deceased sister Margarete Nakigwe Nabiwata, in respect to the contested land, he charges that the same has failed to respond to any claims against him. “Pastor Makabayi was summoned several times to make statements but he refused to comply,” Kyomuhendo, sounding like a biased referee, cried out to the PSU Boss.
In this particular case, Kyomuhendo accuses Bro. Ronnie of forgery of Nabiwata`s agreement with him. He backs this allegation on premises that one of the witnesses on the agreement, a one Ivan Mpalaka, reportedly denied knowledge of the agreement, though he admits that the signature on it, is actually twins with that of his own. “Out of the three witnesses, [Michael Ssenveewo, Ivan Mpalaka and Bunjo Francis] only Mpalaka Ivan is denying to have signed the agreement although he states that the signature looks like his own.”
In conclusion to this particular case, Kyomuhendo bitterly accuses police officers of being in bed with the suspect. “It seems the police have also been treating him with kid gloves because they still have powers to arrest such an uncooperative suspect but they chose to be complicit,” he writes before ordering the PSU boss to handle the matter.
In another case, Kyomuhendo accuses Bro. Ronnie of grabbing another piece of land located in the same area, and belonging to the Late Dauda Ssemambo. The main complainant in this case is Late Ssemambo`s brother, a one Mustafa Ssegujja who claims that his brother did not sale the land to the Pastor.
The Late Dauda Ssemambo sold this piece of land premised in Block 262, Plot 353 along Salaama Road in 2005. The arrangement started with renting before the then unhealthy owner decided to sell off the land to enable him treat self. At the same time, the Pastor took over as his caretaker until his demise in mid 2010.
But Kyomuhendo has his other school of thought. “The suspect took advantage of the deceased`s old age and vulnerability and purportedly started taking care of him. In 2010, the deceased`s health condition deteriorated and the suspect started constructing permanent structures on the latter`s land,” he charged.
In the last case of assault, Kyomuhendo presents Nsubuga Simon Peter and Ntambi Moses as the victims. The dossier alleges that on 6th October 2015, Nsubuga Simon was in his vehicle at Bro. Ronnie`s ETM Church when, ETM staff namely; Simon Peter, Taremwa and Koinange Peter attacked him and beat him to pulp!
In this one, Kyomuhendo is bitter that after the alleged assault, it is instead Nsubuga and Ntambi who were charged and remanded to prison via trespass and threatening violence charges, among others. “There is sufficient evidence to sustain that charges of assault against Pastor Ronnie and his agents,” he wrote.
Interestingly, in his own complaint, Kyomuhendo admits that whereas Nsubuga was allegedly assaulted in 2015, Nsubuga was referred to the medical Doctor for examination on October 16th 2020. “PF3 indicates that he was examined on October 7th 2015. Furthermore, the Doctor`s stamp indicates that the examination was conducted on 20/10/2020. The above contradictions are grave and need to be explained.”
Kyomuhendo further appreciates that the Doctor who examined Nsubuga and the Investigating Officer handling the matter are subjects of interrogation to explain the “anomaly and how he (Doctor) reached at the current findings in his report. The Investigating officer should also record a statement…”
Nevertheless, whereas this stance is dressed like forgery, staggers like forgery and speaks as forgery, Kyomuhendo wants the PSU Commandant to prevail over his colleagues and make them arrest Bro. Ronnie on at least `common assault`. “In the meantime, the suspect should be charged with common assault. The charge sheet can be amended to doing grievous harm after the anomalies in the PF3 have been satisfactorily explained.”
Reading and analyzing Kyomuhendo`s complaint, accusing the Cops with all the passion in his reach, plus the emotions he exhibits and contradictions in the same, coupling with the choice of him writing directly to the Commandant of PSU instead of the line Directorate boss – CID Director, we decided to do what we do best – to investigate.
The one three-week long investigations have since yielded very interesting details of how, a deep-seated beef between pastors Jackson Ssenyonga and Bro. Ronnie has been brewing for years and unfortunately, has now hit irreconcilable levels, yet without the same in the public eye. This just serves as an introductory story for a blockbuster. Watch this space…
- Stanley Ndawula is a two and a half decades’ seasoned investigative journalist with a knack for serious crimes investigations and reporting. He’s the Founding Editorial Director and CEO at The Investigator Publications (U) Limited
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