Pastor Ngabo and former church member Jackie Bagumire have unresolved business—at the centre of which is a dispute over Shs25 million the latter claims the pastor owes her but which he has failed, or refused to pay.
Jackie, who formerly belonged to Pastor Ngabo’s Rock of Deliverance Church, earlier this week spoke to Matooke Republic to bring to light her plight of a Shs25m debt she said Pastor Ngabo has for eight years owed yet refused to pay, and added her lawyer was in the process of initiating court action against the famous ‘FDC Preacher’.
I gave him a loan, he didn’t pay back
“I lent Pastor Ngabo that money back in 2008, when I was still a member of his church and I also still operated a money-lending business,” Jackie said. “I gave him Shs20 million and he was supposed to pay back Shs25 million after a month. But after the month passed he said that he had made a loss in his personal business and asked for more time to pay back. Then he kept asking for more and more time, and before I knew it was years, till 2011 when he left the country for a couple years and I couldn’t demand my money as he wasn’t around.”
Pressed for evidence that she gave the pastor the loan, Jackie said there was no written agreement but that Pastor Ngabo wrote her a post-dated cheque, which this newspaper has seen, as his commitment to pay back.
“Besides, I trusted him as my pastor and spiritual father at the time. His wife was also my good friend at that time. I didn’t bank the cheque because he kept asking to hold on banking it, always promising me that he was going to pay,” she added.
Jackie went on to narrate that with the Ngabos away between 2012 and last year, her lawyers advised her to wait for her debtors to return to the country because then she could sue them.
“I tried to consult him amicably last year [after his return], but he didn’t give me an ear,” Jackie said of her attempts to recover her money once Pastor Ngabo was back in the country. “I also tried to talk to the wife, but she didn’t show any interest in addressing the issue of my money. The only option I was left with was to call in the law, and this year I got my lawyers to write him a letter. But he hasn’t responded and he doesn’t even pick [our] calls.
“The lawyer wanted us to try and settle out of court, but [Pastor Ngabo] refused to consent that he will pay me, and I’m now confused because even the cheque he gave me became obsolete six months from the date of issue.”
It was a gold deal gone bad, Ngabo responds
When this newspaper reached out to Pastor Ngabo for his side of the story, the pastor was adamant he never borrowed any money from his former church member, rather that Jackie was only one of several members of the church’s inner circle who contributed funds to a business venture that didn’t work out.
He instead accused Jackie of attempting to “extort” from him while “tarnishing” his name for reasons best known to her.
“I didn’t borrow from Jackie and in fact I have never known Jackie as a money lender,” the preacher said in an incredibly calm tone that sharply contrasted with his fiery demeanour when leading FDC prayers.
“I have always tried to get my livelihood from doing business in addition to my pastoral work, such that my pastoral ministry isn’t compromised because I have to rely on it for a living–so don’t be surprised to hear that in my business paths I encountered this business contact from Qatar who told me of the huge prices gold was then commanding in the Middle Eastern country.
“We needed more than Shs2 billion to purchase the quantity that was wanted in Dubai, and as I could only raise Shs1 billion I involved the members of the inner circle of my church who could raise some money to also contribute and make some profit. You can work out the profit rate from the fact that Jackie was to get Shs25 million from her Shs20 million contribution.”
The pastor says problems arose when they were ripped off by the people who were supposed to supply them with the gold.
“Unfortunately, the Congolese who were supposed to bring the gold ripped us off by supplying us with brass, a metal that looks like gold and it was only discovered to be fake in Qatar. I personally lost over a billion shillings, and it even led to the collapse of my construction company.
“Jackie and several other church members who had contributed to the deal even showed me a lot of understanding and sympathy during that hard time which got me to zero financially, as they didn’t ask me for any money because they all saw what had happened to us, so it’s now shocking that she turns around to say she had only lent me.”
He sees the post-dated cheques as something he did for the people who contributed their money, but added that “those who couldn’t sympathise went on to cash them and took away even what was on my account, and Jackie could have chosen to be among those if she wanted.”
Jackie, hubby are like my son and daughter
That Jackie didn’t bank her cheque back in 2008, Pastor Ngabo argued, speaks to the father-daughter relationship the two had.
“She couldn’t even think of banking the cheque, because she could see my situation,” the pastor said.
“I see Jackie as my daughter and for me this is a family misunderstanding and I have indicated to Jackie and her husband that we need to sit down and discuss it rather than go around shaming ourselves. Has Jackie, for example, told you that it is me who brought her together with her husband? That even before that I looked after her husband at my house after his father had chased him from home for becoming Born-Again? That I employed her husband in my ministry and raised him through the ranks till I sent him to Dubai to minister my church there until he was deported? Has Jackie told you that while her husband shepherded our church in Dubai, on a number of occasions I put her on the plane to Dubai and paid for her accommodation in expensive hotels just so she could visit her husband?”
The pastor added that he told Jackie’s lawyers that he wanted them to go and see him in person “so we talk and settle our issues”, and that he is ready to give her the money she wants because “it is not really a problem to me”.
While Jackie acknowledged she, her husband and the Ngabos had been close, she hinted at feelings of betrayal by the man she thought “couldn’t refuse to pay me because I saw myself as family to him”. She added: “How he has treated me now has been a total shocker, and now I even find it hard to ever trust any pastor again. Right now I go to churches but can’t dare allow myself to become a member.”