Africa-Press – Uganda. A yet to be identified man masquerading as a top official from Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) has conned money from sports tutors in government institutions- promising victims a trip to South Africa with First Lady Janet Museveni.
The man disguising as the commissioner for physical education in the ministry is allegedly using an office line number 0414673797 to defraud amid claim that the trip was for July 11-12.
One of the affected sports tutors told this publication that the suspected criminal reached him through his institution’s public relations office.
“I had no pass port and he promised to process an express one for me at Shs600, 000 but I didn’t have that money. We agreed that I pay in installments and I had sent him Shs370, 000 only to find that he was a conman,” said Mr Nicolas Namanya, the games and sports tutor at Uganda Technical College Bushenyi.
Mr Namanya’s attempts to alert his colleagues were futile as the said conman successfully preyed on another sports tutor in Eastern Uganda to get Shs486, 000.
“He first called our principal who told me and I took it serious because if the principal tells you about something, you know it is official. I obeyed and paid accordingly,” Mr Hussein Twadya, a sports tutor at the Uganda Technical College in the Elgon region said.
However, he said the 0772203665 used by the apparent conman to claim money from him on June 16, 2022 showed the name Benon Ajonga via Mobile Money.
The unsuspecting tutors were encouraged to routinely check print media for the traveling list ahead of their “imagined trip.”
Commenting on the issue, the MoES has clarified that they have no planned trip to South Africa as touted by the impersonator.
“We are not organizing any trip of any group of officers to go abroad with the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports,” the Commissioner Physical Education at the MoES, Rev Canon Duncan’s Mugumya told Monitor.
He added: “People calling officers in the name of the Commissioner Physical Education and Sports (Rev Can Duncans Mugumya) are conmen. MoES will always communicate formally in writing in case of any program.”
In a press release seen by this publication, the MoES Permanent Secretary, Ms Ketty Lamaro has cautioned the public against dealing with the suspected criminal “not known to them.”
“The Ministry will always inform you formally in writing for any program,” she emphasized.
Billions of shillings are lost annually in cyber-related crime in Uganda.