The Hoima Magistrate’s Court has remanded “Bishop” David Kaliisa better known as David King of Christ the Way Church in Hoima City to Hoima government prison on charges of meddling with the estate of the deceased.
Police arrested ‘Bishop’ David Kaliisa today Thursday, February 23, 2023, and arraigned him before the Hoima Principal Grade One Magistrate, His Worship Elijah Iradukunda, on charges of meddling with the estate of his deceased parents, Pastor Stephen and Bishop Florence Kaliisa.
Appearing before court ‘bishop’ David Kaliisa was not allowed to enter any plea since the presiding magistrate with the jurisdiction of hearing the case was not present at the time.
“I can’t listen to David’s case because the person who is supposed to hear it is not around. So, the best thing I can do is to remand him since I don’t have the powers of granting him bail in the absence of the person who is supposed to hear his case. However, his application on getting bail, will be heard,” Mr Iradukunda said.
“Bishop” David Kaliisa’s case was supposed to be heard by the Grade One Magistrate, Her Worship Stella Mwali.
Ms Harriet Karungi, an elder sister to David Kaliisa, said the family members are not against their brother but to bring back the glory of the family church as it was before he took it over.
“We received very many complaints from the church followers accusing David Kaliisa of mishandling our church and demolished part of it without permission from the family members and authorisation from the city physical planner. As a family, we don’t want the land but we want to teach him a lesson so that he can come back to normal and have a sense of understanding,” Ms Karungi who is a trained teacher by profession said.
Adding: “I tried to engage my young brother David advising him to change in some areas of weakness and start running the church like how it was being run before; but he insisted and went ahead and started the process of producing a title for the church land without our consent as family members and church elders; which annoyed us and we want him out of our church.”
When contacted, “Bishop” David Kaliisa’s advocate, Counsel Marvin Asiimwe Bunjo, declined to comment about the matter.
David Kaliisa will reappear before court after four days in prison on Monday, February 27, 2023, when his case will come up for mention again.
Earlier reports indicated that after the death of their father, Stephen Kaliisa, the church leadership was taken over by their mother, Florence Kaliisa who later passed on in 2020 purportedly leaving it to David Kaliisa who is one of the youngest children.
It later emerged that David Kaliisa allegedly clandestinely forged a land title of the church with intent to purportedly grab their deceased parents’ 54 by 100 feet plot where the church sits on Bunyoro Kitara Road in Hoima city.
Such an alleged incident led to an altercation with the family heir, veteran journalist, Martin Isaac Kaahwa and his other siblings accusing David Kaliisa of purportedly scheming to grab their parents’ church land.
“What is splitting us with our brother David is that he wants to grab our father’s church land by getting its title in his personal names,” Mr Kaahwa was quoted by the press sometime back.
On November 30, 2022, Hoima police cordoned off the church at the height of the altercation between David Kaliisa and his siblings.
Before his arrest and remand, David Kaliisa’s sister, Ms Karungi, earlier in 2022 said her embattled brother was kicking all the elders out of the church.
“I taught David in Sunday school and I’m the eldest sister. Since our mother passed on, David changed, chased all the elders from the church including Moses Exodus who had served in the church with our parents for donkey’s years. He wants to personalise the church,” Ms Karungi was quoted as saying.
She also accused her younger brother of straying away from the mode of teaching of their parents.
“Our brother has changed the original preaching doctrine of our parents. Nowadays, when you go to the church, you find him focusing on only praying for the sick not preaching the gospel of Christ. He has even removed the chairs for the elders,” she added.
At that time, ‘Bishop’ David Kaliisa, who is also a gospel singer, said the church was established by different people from different families including his parents.
“The church is for the community, for people and no one can own the church alone because those who started it were five families. I have all the evidence, all the church documents are in the names of Christ the Way Church. If they say it is for the family, let them bring out evidence,” he said in 2022.
The family members also accused their sibling of allegedly plotting to sell off the church land, an accusation he denies and instead alleges that they are the ones conspiring to do so. Journalists, thus, quoted him:
“The proprietors of this church started it with the aim of spreading the gospel. My fellows want to sell off the church land. I cannot change the church to be for one family. Satan came to divide. However, we are ready to reconcile and forgive anyone who realises and accepts the truth.”
During that time, Ms Karungi vowed to fight hard to restore their deceased parents’ mode of running the church.
“We shall fight pakalast to restore the original preaching doctrine of our parents. He [David Kaliisa] either returns it or he establishes his own church,” she asserted.