Leone Island’s singing Doctor, Jose Chameleone, is currently on a financial drip, according to a report unearthed by our gossip desk.
Chameleone’s troubles, according to the report, started in 2012 following the death of Robert Karamagi, one of the singer’s best friends.
Karamagi was beaten and set ablaze in December 2012 at Chameleone’s Seguku home.
Though mysteriously in its own way, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would later exonerate Chameleone of the murder without even reaching court.
That is when Chameleone’s financial problems started; the hullabaloo that followed Karamagi’s death is said to have cost the singer a fortune forcing him to disband the Leone Island Crew.
2013: the beginning of Chameleone’s end
In 2013, Chameleone entered into a deal with Africa Union to record a song urging remnants of the defeated Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to lay down their weapons.
Majority remnants of the LRA rebels who tortured and terrorized northern Uganda for the past two decade were on the verge of surrendering, Chameleone was asked to inspire and encourage them to return home through music.
“Soon, I am releasing a voice on a song “COME HOME” to call on our brothers out there in LRA influence to come back to their peaceful homes than staying out there wandering in the wilderness,” Chameleone is on record to have said.
The video was reportedly shot in jungles of Central African Republic.
Chameleone would since be in and out of the country spending weeks in Central African Republic meeting US marshals and some Ugandan officers as part of the “return home” drive.
Close associates say, in the process, the singer met gold dealers who offered him a fair deal.
His job was to look for market and sell the gold outside CAR (since it was problematic for the dealers to transport the mineral) upon which he would be paid a commission.
To be sure and earn each other’s trust, the Leone Island boss was given a sample from which his capability would be gauged.
The gold was unknowingly transported by Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) choppers from CAR to Uganda.
“Only one officer knew about it,” said an insider.
The sample successfully reached Kampala and was sold.
Chameleone amassed a reasonable $280,000 (about Shs 756m).
Excited Chameleone is said to have rallied buyers and dealers in Kampala soliciting $4m (about Shs 10bn) promising to return with the merchandise on his next journey.
In CAR, Chameleone escorted by a top army official, planned a meeting with gold dealers at one of the hotels in CAR (undisclosed because he never wanted US marshals to know his private deals).
At the hotel, he delivered the money and waited for the goods.
Hours later, the dealers called saying they had been disturbed by security but were on their way to the agreed place.
During the delay and the long wait, Chameleone received an emergency call prompting him to leave the hotel temporarily.
When he did return, he was told people had been looking for him but had left shortly.
Another call came in; the dealers were on their way back to the hotel (with knowledge that Chameleone has arrived) but demanded for extra money.
Chameleone and his UPDF friend waited and waited but to no avail.
Security at the hotel got concerned and intercepted the pair.
The UPDF officer who never wanted to be compromised, disappeared leaving Chameleone behind to be grilled alone.
It took the intervention of US Marshals to rescue the singer.
He explained that he was touring the area to meet fans and the explanation was convincing enough.
Uganda and the debts
Chameleone returned to Uganda a broken man.
He kept contacting the dealers to no avail.
The dealers in Uganda were demanding the goods or the refund of their money totalling to $4m (about Shs10bn).
Chameleone then acquired a loan from an Indian bank in town to clear a few of the debts.
Worse, the singer could not clear the bank loan leading to the confiscation of his properties including the Seguku home and land worth millions of cash.
He would later rent a house in Muyenga in the process of getting back on his feet.
The situation worsened prompting the family to lay camp at Daniella’s uncle’s home in Mutungo.