Watoto Church in Uganda, and its missionary founders, Gary Skinner and wife, have not been immune to scandal, despite the seemingly angelic nature of their work. Sometimes those who do ‘evil’ in the world hide behind the veneer of deeds in the name of Christianity. Some have called Watato Church a money making, land stealing and orphan exploiting fake Church, with a suspiciously wealthy Pastor at its helm, while others swear by its charitable work and support of orphans. What has now come to light is a shocking allegation that has led to a criminal complaint under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act of 1994, in India, where a Ugandan young man is accusing Watoto and several doctors and hospitals of being involved in a conspiracy involving a forced transplantation and fraud, leading to much suffering by an alleged victim.
Reaching out to Americans for Money:
Back in 2014 a website Greater Commission Outreach posted the following story on their website (See screenshot #1) in a quest to raise funds from American supporters of Watoto Church:
“William Kabuye is a 16-year old boy living in Watoto. He was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure in September 2011. Instead of going to school and playing with his friends, he is on costly dialysis three times a week and fighting for a chance to live a normal life. Thanks to the efforts of Watoto and The Great Commission Outreach, there is hope. In addition to funding the $2,000 monthly costs of his dialysis, we identified a non-related donor for a kidney transplant. The 22-year old male donor has been fully worked up and the HLA tying shows good compatibility. We found a hospital (Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals) in New Delhi, India where the transplant can be perfo(r)med and have the blessing from our Pastoral Team. Overall, the direct and indirect costs involved, including current care costs, travel to India and costs of surgery are estimated at 45,000 USD. Thanks to generous donors, we are on our way to achieving this goal, but still need an additional 38,000 USD. Please help us make a difference for William and give him a chance to do the great things God has in store for him.”
As it happens all is not as it seems:
Although Greater Commission Outreach thanks donors in a fund raising endeavor, it seems from what the alleged victim is saying, not only did William Kabuye not receive his kidney but the Kabuye story may have been made up, with an intention to get a Ugandan over to India to “steal” his kidney. While it seems Greater Commission Outreach (GCO) is not an accused in the case, we do not know the extent of their involvement at this time, other than to serve as a fund raising partner for the Watoto Church endeavor. GCO, however ought to be investigated by U.S. authorities to ensure that they are not involved in any untoward activities pertaining to international organ transplants.
The alleged forced transplantation:
On the 14th June, 2016 John Jogga Katamba, 24, who is from Wakiso Dirstict, Uganda, as represented by Advocate Shashank Kumar, a barrister in India, has made a criminal charge to the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore and the Station House officer, Bengaluru, against 15 accused parties, consisting of hospitals, doctors and Watoto and its representatives. Accused number 1 and 2 are “Watoto Church, represented by its founders Mr Gary Skinner and Mrs Marilyn Skinner…” and one, Mrs. Grace Wabirye, also a named accused #12. (See Screenshot #2 below which reveals all the named accused)
Here is the shocking story as told by the alleged victim John Katamba:
“Around March 2014 I was supposed to donate a kidney to my cousin, Ms. Nakitende Tabitha who was suffering from kidney failure and was at Mulago Hospital in Kawempe, Kampala, Uganda, but unfortunately she passed away in the same month before the procedure for transplant could commence.
Around July 2014, Dr. Kalyesubula, Robert, Nephrologist in Mulago Hospital, who also treated my late cousin, took me to Dr. Kaganda Chris and Dr. Gladys Kasirye, accused # 10 and 11, who are members of Watoto Child Care Ministries (WCCM), an NGO formed by accused #1 &2, which claims to support orphans in Uganda. The doctors told me that I have a healthy functioning kidney and one Mr. Kabuye William, aged 16, who was in the same dialysis ward as my cousin, needed a kidney or he was about to die.”
Katamba then explains, that as the sole uneducated breadwinner for his family he was in desperate need of money and that the doctors at “Accused #1 organization,” (Watoto and its representatives) approached him to donate his kidney to their congregant, since the original recipient, his cousin, had died. He noted:
“they would take care of all my issues and compensate after I donate since I would not be able to work for some time, if I became the donor. They also falsely promised that they would take care of my education in future and dishonestly induced me for several months in the name of God and for the benefit of the church and the child, with sole intention to cheat.”
What follows in the declaration that accompanied the criminal complaint is a detailed and harrowing account by Katamba of how he was misled, was flown to India for the surgery, thinking he was giving his kidney to William Kabuye. After he some time in India at the original hospital, the transplant to an apparent Kabuye, was denied by the hospital because John Katamba was not related to William Kabuye, a requirement under the law. Instead of sending John Katamba back to Uganda, he alleges he was taken to another hospital and held hostage by employees/officials for Watato. He says he was taken to a hospital where the lie was told – that he was related to a party about to receive his kidney. We do not know the identity of the alleged recipient. He says he was held against his wishes, after his passport was taken, until he woke up to find himself in severe pain. He since found out that he did lose his kidney in a botched extraction. Since then he has suffered severe physical pain, been rejected and denied help by Watato and how he has been left to languish with an apparent botched surgical job.
The final paragraph in Johan Katamba’s declaration reads:
“..Fortis Hospitals, Lalitha and Wabirye (from Watato) have stolen my kidney and it its not Kabuye whom they have sold it to. …….. My life is ruined and doomed forever. All these people are involved in running an international organ robbery and cheating racket by targeting gullible persons like me in Uganda and selling it in India.
That in the name of running a non-profit organization Accused No. 1 and No.2 ((Watoto Church, represented by its founders Mr Gary Skinner and Mrs Marilyn Skinner, and Watoto headed by its founder Gary Skinner) collect money from developed countries and later trick poor people in Uganda. All of them in criminal conspiracy have stolen my kidney and cheated me. All of them had abducted me and caused grievous injury and permanent damage to my life.
The accused had abducted me , drugged me to steal my kidney an caused irreparable grievous injury to my body, mind and life. That all the Accused have formed a nexus and are jointly operating an international kidney transplant racket.”
The complainant, William Katamba then accuses the doctors and agents for Watoto of being in violation of The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act of 1994, calling for revocation of their medical licenses and prosecution of all the Accused under the Act.
On of the accused, Fortis provided the following comment to an India Newspaper which picked up the story after we started investigating it for the purpose of this article:
Accused #4, Fortis denies that there was no consent by the alleged victim:
“We diligently follow all processes and rules for organ transplants and comply with the prescribed law both in letter and spirit, to safeguard the best interests of our patients. We take our obligation in this regard very seriously. As the patient and the donor in this case were both foreign nationals, they were referred to Lalitha Healthcare, one of our affiliate hospitals, with a NOC and recommendation from the High Commissioner of the country. The transplant was duly approved and authorized at the licensed hospital, by the independent third party Committee for Transplantation of Human Organs, instituted by the government. All requisite free consents were taken by the doctors at the hospital prior to the surgeries and were recorded. The operations were successful and the patient and the donor were discharged in good health and continue to do well, more than a year after surgery. Meanwhile, we will stand by to assist the authorities with all the details they may require, to bring any related enquiry/ies to a close.”
Watato and Garry Skinner have not yet been contacted for comment.
However, this case and some of its surrounding facts are confirmed in an admission in the Watato Annual Report for 2014, signed off on by Gary Skinner, which makes explicit reference to the impending transplant of William Kabuye – in the report where they admit:
THE WATATO 2014 Annual report reads: “ Watoto actively sought the funds and donors for William’s transplant. On 23 Dec 2014, he was sent to one of India’s Appolo Hospitals. Unfortunately, the authorization Committee for Organ Transplantation deferred the transplant after two months because the recipient and the donor were unrelated. William was discharged and returned to Uganda. Monitoring is ongoing and we hope to find a hospital that can authorize the operation soon.” (See Screenshot 3 , below)
Notably there is no reference in this report to a donor who traveled with William Kabuye, though there must have been a donor, given the admission by Watoto that the Committee in India rejected the transplant on the basis of no familial relationship to the recipient.
These admitted facts by Watoto begs many a question to be answered by Watato, especially in light of the Fortis admission that they did extract John Katamba’s kidney: What is the Watato story and especially that of Wabriye Grace after William Kabuye, the purported recipient, returned to Uganda. Why in Grace’s opinion and that of Watoto did the donor remain in India? What, according to Watoto, happened to the donor and his kidney after the recipient was released and returned to Uganda? What were the movements of Watoto Church officials who had accompanied both patients to India, thereafter? Where is William Katamba who was in need of kidney at this time? Did he receive one and if so from who and where? Where is the accountability and funding transparency by Watoto pertaining to the amounts raised abroad and spent on this debacle? How come Watoto was in the business of organizing transplants in a foreign country like India and not even knowing the very basic rules and laws involved – such as the fact that one must use only a family doctor? How much donor money was wasted in the name of this negligent, and in effect, admitted ignorance, not to mention the alleged fraud? Did William in fact receive Johns kidney? If not who did? If he did – when?
A Possible Truth:
One confidential source has suggested: “it appears William DID get John’s kidney, except it appears Watoto knew early on and they chose to deny the transplant ever took place so they could continue collecting money from the US. That is why they claim William came back to Uganda, so they a were still fund raising and saying they were looking for a related donor.”
Whatever the outcome this entire story and Watoto’s involvement raises many concerns, including the allegations of this terrible abuse of the individual complainant and donors involved.
We will be reaching out to Watoto and Gary Skinner for comment on this article and the allegations made by John Katamba, and provide them with an opportunity to tell their side of the story. For now this serves merely as allegations made by the alleged victim as gleaned through internet admissions and documents filed in India.
(Screenshot #1): Here is GCO thanking donors under “NEWS” category on their website – for giving money for Kabuye’s transplant. We still do not know if he received the transplant as it seems he was sent back from India because the donor was not a “family member”:
(Screenshot #3) The Watoto Report from 2014 where the admission is made that they were involved in raising funds for William Kubuye:
By Melanie Nathan
TO READ MORE ABOUT WATATO AND THEIR DEVILISH CONNECT TO UGANDA’S “Kill THE GAYS BILL”
“In March 2009, Watoto hosted several of the meetings at which Scott Lively and Don Schmierer appeared. These meetings provided the critical building blocks for Bahati’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, introduced in Parliament later that year. Skinner was included in a task force to educate children on the dangers of homosexuality and an action plan to address homosexuality at the local level. He was also one of many religious leaders to support Lou Engle’s TheCall Uganda in May 2010.” READ HERE.
It would seem that this article is attracting lowlifes – yes people are sending this type of scammy spammy comments – hoping to attract kidney donors for money. I fully support organ transplant, but I do not support the lies and deceit and illegal marketing of organs. I have left out te contact informaiton – this screen shot is an example of the comments: