Pentecostal Bishop Sued For Failure to Pay Ground Rent

5091 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Bishop Katuramu appeared on Wednesday before Tiri Silver Kacwamba, the Fort Portal Grade one magistrate to answer charges of tax defaulting.

Fort Portal municipal council has dragged Jimmy Katuramu, the Bishop of United Pentecostal Churches International of Uganda to court over accumulated ground rent arrears to the tune of 64 million shillings. Bishop Katuramu appeared on Wednesday before Tiri Silver Kacwamba, the Fort Portal Grade one magistrate to answer charges of tax defaulting.
 
Prosecution told court that Bishop Katuramu who owns various properties in Fort Portal Municipality had failed to remit money to the municipality as ground rent for his properties since 2007. They include a building along Bundibugyo road, the buildings hosting Uganda Pentecostal University and Fort Portal International Nursing School in West division
 
Bishop Katuramu pleaded not guilty to the charges saying that he has never received any demand note from the municipality about ground rent. Katuramu said that he could not pay money to the municipality that he was not aware of.

Magistrate Kacwamba released granted Katuramu bail but he failed to present surety forcing court to hold him for two hours. He was released after paying a cash bail of 150,000 shillings and was asked to appear in court on July 11 for the hearing of his case.

Rogers Mulindwa, the Fort Portal Municipality Chief law enforcement officer, says that Bishop Katuramu has to pay the money because it is meant to foster development. He says they decided to sue the Bishop to send a message to other businessmen denying council its revenue.