By Michael Odeng
The court has set today February 9, 2018 to hear a case, in which a reverend of St. Andrew’s Church Bukoto Moses Isabirye, is accused of failing to account for church’s funds.
The reverend and five people, who purport to be members of the church, are slated to appear in the Civil division of the High Court for mediation hearing but it is not known who will preside over the case.
Mediation is an alternative dispute-resolution mechanism that allows parties entangled in a dispute find a quick solution with the assistance of a neutral third party.
Through Guma and Company advocates, the complainants accuse Rev. Isabirye for negligently failing to present accountability reports to the church council.
The members are Stephen Karamagi, Dan Kamya, Enid Rwemereza, Jackson Tumwine and John Nsubuga Salongo.
A court document seen by the Kampala Sun indicates that if no appearance is made by Rev. Isabirye, then the case will be heard in his absence.
“If no appearance in made on your behalf/your pleader or someone by law authorized to act for you, the case will be heard in your absence,” stated a court document signed by the mediator registrar, whose name is not mentioned.
The members fault the reverend of failing to constitute an audit team and refusing to label the church car with Church of Uganda (CoU) logo, saying the move is intended to steal the vehicle.
They also fault CoU for breach of their duties as trustees in respect of the said church, for which they seek declaratory orders, while Isabirye for breach of his pastoral duties as a vicar of the church.
“Failure by CoU to take action against Isabirye, their appointed servant in charge of the said church amounts to breach of their duties as trustees for which they should be held liable,” Karamagi contends.
They say the church has failed to take action against Isabirye, which according to them amounts to negligence or breach of its duties.
They, therefore, seek an order, compelling Isabirye to label the church’s van with CoU logo and to account for all the property of the church including construction materials and monies cash and those deposited in the bank.
The leaders also asked court to award them costs of the suit.
The complaints say they have at all material times been committed church members of St. Andrews Church and on several occasions called upon the defendants to execute their duties in respect of their church in vain.
“Isabirye has refused to account for the funds, despite various notifications, which has prompted us to sue him,” says Karamagi.
Court documents indicate that in October 2017, the complainants and other church leaders held several consultative meetings with the officers from CoU, where they raised concerns arising from the said church.
Speaking to Rev. Isabirye, he recently said the complainants may not be church members and just want to tarnish his name. ENDs………../