Buganda Road Court has issued a warrant of arrest for Pastor Mondo Mugisha who is on the run.
He is battling 53 counts related to obtaining money by false pretence and conspiracy to commit a felony.
The accused allegedly conned pastors and private school directors over UGX 4bn.
The matter came up when a group of pastors under their umbrella body, Hands Across the World petitioned Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti Corruption Unit indicating that Mondo had used their group to con a number of people, with promises that he would construct churches for the pastors, construct houses and offer scholarships for needy children.
Court presided over by the Grade One magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu heard that Mondo, the proprietor of Empowerment Christian Church International, allegedly obtained more than Shs 1 billion from parents in the areas of Bombo-Luwero, Tororo, Iganga, Kaliro and Kampala districts between 2014 and 2020.
On another file, Mondo is charged with three others of defrauding Siraje Ssemanda, Margaret Kayima also known as Nabbi Omukazi and Jimmy Arinaitwe, the director of Hands Across the World Initiative Uganda Limited, a sum of Shs 4.5 billion still, through false pretence.
His lawyer Erias Asiimwe who was holding brief for lawyer Robert Rutaro told the court that Mondo fled the country amidst security threats and sickness.
He said that by the time of his departure, Mondo’s life was in danger because he was being trailed by armed persons. Asiimwe asked court to halt the trial until Mondo’s condition stabilizes.
The prosecution noted that there is no proof that Mondo is out of the country and or that he has a medical condition which cannot be handled by Ugandan hospitals.
Accordingly, prosecution prayed that a warrant of arrest be issued against Mondo such that he can be compelled to come to court and, after his appearance, the court can determine if he needs treatment abroad.
The prosecution has amended the charges against the entire group with exception of Mondo, with 17 new charges of obtaining money by false pretence.
The group will now return to court on February 11 for their bail application ruling on the other pending files.