By Tonny Akankwatsa
Case in court is that American citizen, Sara Hamilton Kiwanuka, a nurse from Austin, Texas has been accused by Joseph Kiwanuka of defrauding supportive funds and fees for Rafiki Ministries Uganda. Sara was the co-founder of Rafiki Ministries Uganda, an idea which was established by Kiwanuka.
According to Joseph Kiwanuka, it was found out that the Sara was collecting funds in the name of “Rafiki in the US and from individuals in Canada, Australia and Europe,” unfortunately, a major portion is being syphoned to some other personal projects like stock markets and real estates in US which her father Frank Hamilton controls and manages.
“With great pain, I inform you that as the Executive Director/Founder of Rafiki Africa Ministries Uganda have decided to petition the High Court in Uganda to have Rafiki Africa Ministries dissolved. Sara Hamilton together with her father Frank Hamilton have turned our ministry upside down” Joseph wrote.
Additionally, Sara has been coercing the children into begging and the premise. The premises where the organization has been sheltering the children lack the basic infrastructure. She is using funds meant for Rafiki Children to promote some musicians in town. Apparently, Sara is in bitter row with the Rafiki board because of the mismanagement and misappropriation of Rafiki funds. The board has taken a stand to the extent of refusing to renew the Rafiki operational permit. Currently, Sara and Rafiki are operating in Uganda illegally.
To put it politely, “Sara and her father Frank are frauds and phonies and they have no aota of truth in them,” laments Joseph.
It is suspected that these people (Sara and Frank) have a dubious back-ground and are going hand in glove with some unscrupulous individuals and lawyers in town who also have some vested interests.
The kind of entitlement Sara Hamilton and her father Frank Hamilton deliberately obtained are concerning to the management and funds meant for Rafiki Ministries Uganda.
Genesis of dispute
When the situation tomahawked between both Joseph Kiwanuka and Sara Hamilton as founders of Rafiki Africa Ministries due to misunderstandings, She aggressively assured buying his interests in the organisation, in her, April 30, response to Joseph’s reaction for petition.
“The proposed meeting with lawyers was not in respect to the Disciplinary Hearing. The Disciplinary Hearing is separate. I answered all questions that you had in regards to the Disciplinary hearing. It is also Rafiki Africa Ministries right as the Employer to hold a Disciplinary Hearing and you are not allowed as an Employee to continue to disregard the meeting. You have rights to a fair hearing
which we are giving you.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss your interest in Rafiki Africa Ministries and me personally buying out your interest so that there is a smooth exit plan. I am willing to have a meeting to discuss buying out your Interest otherwise we will be calling a meeting to dissolve the ministry where you will not receive anything. It is your choice” the response partially noted.
Quoting Churchill, Kiwanuka is aggressive enough to fight for Rafiki Ministries organization.
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is,” he quotes Winston Churchill.
“The truth is the truth! No matter how one can manipulate it, twist and makeup, facts are facts. My voice will be heard and I will no longer be silenced or bullied” he declared that context whilst emailing to sponsors and friends of Rafiki Africa Ministries Uganda.
He put lots of effort to advise the Hamilton family but was given a deaf ear. “However much I have been pleading them to do the right thing concerning the management of our Ministry, much like forcing a porcupine to don a kanzu; or forcing a pawpaw tree to grow like a pumpkin. A porcupine in a kanzu won’t move, and its many spines (Frank Hamilton’s family and their selfish interests) will, in fact, rip up the kanzu! That is why Rafiki Africa Ministries is dysfunctional.”
Misunderstanding influx occurred after Joseph challenged Sara and Frank to give accountability of funds and fees collected abroad that never reach to facilitate the ministry.
“They have continuously and shamelessly treated and abused Rafiki Africa Ministries as a family business entity, not a public interest board. Some of you I sent you an email on 1st, May 2018 about how Frank Hamilton; together with Sara Hamilton had commenced a process of kicking me out of Rafiki Africa Ministries on false allegations from the organization I started in Uganda. Because I had tasked them to account for the Rafiki funds they have been collecting including the Program fees that our Mission Volunteers pay to serve with us in Uganda. For the record, those funds don’t reach Uganda. And the question is why?” wondered Kiwanuka
June 18,2018, after going through the paper work for both Rafiki Africa Ministries in Uganda and Rafiki inc USA, page by page, clause by clause, he considered authorities in “Uganda who intervened to stop this madness, the Executive Director of National Bureau for NGOs (NGO BOARD) gave a ruling concerning the crisis and the mess in Rafiki Africa Ministries and he said that Rafiki Africa Ministries in Uganda and Rafiki Inc, USA are two independent legal entities. And that these two organizations have no legal ties and link with each other,” Joseph noted.
In the ruling Rafiki Inc, USA has no legal mandate to manage and make decisions on behalf of Rafiki Africa Ministries, Uganda. It can only be a partner, fundraising arm or a donor agency if they so wish but “not controlling or making decisions on behalf of Rafiki Africa Ministries.”
NGO board advised Rafiki Africa Ministries Uganda that “the new board in Uganda should be constituted in order to manage the affairs of the organization” to get back on track and to effectively serve the best interest of the Ugandan Children.
The interim board was put in place and it was given 90 days to sort out the mess and report back to the to the general assembly about the progress. Unfortunately, the problem remained unresolved.
Sara Hamilton allowed the external influence peddling of her father Frank Hamilton to interfere with the organization daily activities making it impossible for the new board to operate independently.
Three out of the five administrative members pulled out from the all citing the state of confusion, greed for money, power and control.
The MOU Sara and Frank drafted was about “protecting her and father’s interests not the Children we care for in Uganda.”
Currently Rafiki Africa Ministries is under going investigation and scrutiny. Frank Hamilton together with his daughter Sara Hamilton run another organization called Rafiki Inc, “a scam of Rafiki Africa Ministries Uganda.” Perhaps the organization was started without Kiwanuka’s consent “to lure the public into giving in the name of helping the orphaned children of Uganda.”
For the the past 8years of running the Ministry in Uganda, “these individuals who run the so-called Rafiki Inc have never disclosed to me how much they have collected from our dear donors on behalf of Rafiki Africa Ministries in Uganda. We have never seen any financial and audited reports from them.”
The ministry has “been renting and moving these poor Ugandan kids from one rented house to the other,” yet Frank Hamilton and his family are “busy drowning in luxury, living in 5 star hotels with his wife in Europe, flying business class at the expense of the ministry” all in the name of a mission trip to Uganda.
Kiwanuka laments about financial challenges to facilitate smooth “operations of the ministry”. He adds that allegedly, “Frank Hamilton is doing illegal transactions sending some money meant for donations to Sara Hamilton through MoneyGram and western Union” at expense of the ministry.
Their fraudulence misappropriating ministry funds and to avoid accountability is very unfortunate. “They have diverted funds meant for our ministry into stock markets in USA to make profits for themselves,” Joseph explained.
Sara’s linkage to Rafiki ministries
Sara Hamilton was linked to the organisation due to intimacy with Kiwanuka, though she tactically obtained the administrative post pressurizing him.
“I started and founded Rafiki Africa Ministries in Uganda and I just invited then my girl friend Sara Hamilton to come and work as a nurse in my organization along side our Ugandan staff. Despite putting her on my organization paper work as a co director. Because she had put me on so much pressure that if I loved her, I should show some commitment and make her a co. director in my organization and she said that she will just perform the role of the nurse in Rafiki Africa Ministries and I agave her a benefit of doubt,” Joseph regrets.
Over 80% of the children living in orphanages in Uganda have at least one living parent. These children are being raised away from their families because of poverty, not because they are unloved or unwanted. Story is being followed. To be continued.