Ivan Ssemwanga: Why His Lavish Funeral Got People Talking
Ugandan tycoon Ivan Ssemwanga died on Wednesday, 25 May 2017 at Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria at Steve Biko Hospital in Tshwane, Pretoria, South Africa after being in a coma for 12 days. Memorial service for the late CEO of the Rich Gang Crew was held at St Michael and All Angels Anglican church in Sunnyside, Tshwane, on Saturday, and on Tuesday, 30 may he was buried like a king at Namirembe Cathedral in Nakaliro, Kayunga District, Uganda.
Politicians, Tycoon, Musicians and city businessmen flocked Nakaliro for his final journey. While at the funeral service of Semwanga which was at St. Paul’s Church Namirembe this afternoon, most tycoons showed up with a line-up of monster rides that caused traffic jam along Namirembe road. These cars were not only expensive, but most of them had personalized number plates which attracted a lot of attention from the masses that were at the event.
But what got people talking was how RICH GANG crew splashed money in his grave, what his former club, RICH GANG would prefer to call a MANSION. (Watch the cash splash Video here.) Ivan was buried with loads of cash. One proud Rich Gang crew member puts the figure at approximately 25m. The money was in different denominations like South Africa rands, Dollars and UGX.
But there are two concerned citizens who will have none of it. Tugume Gideon, under Human Rights Defenders Association Uganda, has petitioned an Ugandan high court seeking an order to dismantle Ivan Ssemwanga’s grave and remove the money that was buried with him, claiming that “money is a legal tender and should not be buried with anyone.” Tugume also wants the court to charge the so called Rich gang group for their actions that took place during Semwanga’s burial.
Another concerned citizen, Abey Mgugu, has dragged A-Plus funeral management and Bank of Uganda to the High Court seeking orders that the body of late Ivan Ssemwanga be exhumed and all the currency notes that were buried with him removed.
“Burying a dead body with money is a wastage of public property which violates social and economic rights of other people,” he argued.
Following the legal battles to exhume Ivan’s body, the tycoon’s family have taken a pre-emptive action. Four armed Ugandan police officers are currently guarding the burial site to protect the money…and his body. Apart from reading themselves to ward off surprised attack from the litigants, the family fears that villagers might excavate the Grave in search of cash. Kayunga, the village where Ivan is buried, is a notorious district in Uganda and registers the highest levels of crimes.
Another reason is the morbid fear that Ivan’s body may be eaten. Yes! It is alleged that Kayunga people eat dead bodies.
“We have heard stories that people from this side eat dead bodies…please! Family members get security and build a fence to protect Ivan from being eaten. We want our boy to Rest In Peace,” City tycoon Godfrey Kirumira warned the villagers:
Is Ivan Ssemwanga really dead?
But those who might want to go in search of the 39-year-old Ivan Ssemwanga’s body may search in vain because his coffin could have been empty. Speculation is rife that Ivan Ssemwanga faked his own death. The Ugandan reports that People claimed Ivan defrauded a South African national identified as Khalid of $216m in cash, diamonds and gold and his get-away plan was to fake his own death.
“International Police (Interpol) in Uganda had on Wednesday held a meeting and agreed to exhume the body and confirm whether the man had actually died,” according to The Ugandan.
There has not been a confirmation yet that the multibillion-dollar heist ever happened. But the people’s sceptism is understandable. Ivan’s remains were checked out of Entebbe International Airport through South Africa Airways using a fake name and a fake death certificate.
“Ivan died of stroke but his body landed at Entebbe in different names. His body was registered in the names of Ali Sennyomo,” socialite Zari “Boss Lady” Hassan, Ivan’s ex-wife, confirmed.
“It is true Semwanga has been frequently changing his identity in South Africa depending on the deals he was doing and he was until his death using the name Ali Sennyomo as his official identity. Even at Steve Biiko Hospital, the South African doctors were treating the patient Ali Sennyomo and even the body that checked into and out of Entebbe Airport last weekend was of Ali Sennyomo,” she said.
Lending credence to the speculation that Ivan Ssemwanga might have faked his own death is the claim by mourners that no one could view Ivan’s body and that his casket was locked all the time. Many of the mourners left Nakiliro village, Kayunga District dissatisfied.
Ssemwanga’s family explained that they could not let mourners view Ivan’s body because it had been “deformed especially the face due to the brain surgery done at Steve Biko Hospital and treatment in the mortuary in South Africa….The decision to bar the viewing of the body and the taking of pictures was made back in South Africa by his family and close associates.”
So whose version of the story are we believe? Howwe, Ugandan online newspaper, tells us Why You Should ACTUALLY Believe Ivan Semwanga Is Dead and buried, and that the rumour that he isn’t death is bullocks!
“His body was brought back to Uganda through SA Airways. An expert who has extensive knowledge about travel plans at SA Airways has narrated to us that it is impossible for any SA Airways plane to ship in cargo especially a dead body without a detailed death certificate. So there is no way, another person’s body was in the casket of Ivan Semwanga,” Howwe insists.
Is Ivan Ssemwanga really dead? A Conspiracy theory? Or a publicity stunt for the Rich Gang to command headlines?
Journey to wealth and popularity
Born on 12 December 1977 in Kayunga District, Ivan’s journey to wealth and popularity began when he made his way to South African reportedly by road through Zambia, way back in 2002. The man who called himself Moreki then settled in Pretoria and thereafter he became rich.
Ivan source of money was a mystery and became local media speculations. One common speculation is that he was a “Sangoma” (native healers) who targeted rich clientele, and got his major break-through in 2004 when he healed the former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s wife who was suffering sexual health and his in-law who had epilepsy. Another speculation is that he operated a string of schools in South Africa that he inherited from a white couple he previously worked for.
Ivan ignored the speculations. He was loaded, and that was what mattered to him. He lived a flashy lifestyle and he lived large. At social gatherings, he always carried large bottles of expensive wines. Ivan loved cars, and he had expensive collections: Lamborghini, Hummer, Chrysler and so many others. He also had two eye-catching mansions in Sandton, a rich suburb in Johannesburg and Pretoria and USD 1.7m mansion in Munyonyo, Kampala. And there are his Brooklyn Colleges with six branches across Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg. The claim is that Brooklyn Colleges are the cow that lays the golden egg. That is, if you believe that Ivan made his loads of cash through legitimate means. CLICK HERE to see Ivan’s flashy lifestyle in pictures
Ivan Ssemwanga was not throwing money around only on himself. He was also giving to others. The poor. The widows. The homeless. The needy. Ivan was giving. He made a show of it. Watch the video of Ivan Semwanga giving out money for fun:
Actually, Ivan Ssemwanga was relatively unknown to the outside world until 6 February 2017 when he made it on the front page of South Africa newspaper, Daily Sun after a video of him dishing out R100 and R200 notes to women went viral on Facebook.
Ivan Ssemwanga was married to Zari Hassan, a Ugandan-born and South African based socialite and a former musician. He was either a broke ass when he met socialite Zari, so she claims. Or he was actually a self-made man who used his loads of cash to bring Zari to the limelight. Well, the marriage lasted for just ten years. Zari, 35, dumped him (and his cash) for the Tanzanian singer, Diamond Platinumz who is only 25-years-old. Ivan and Zari had three sons – Pinto, Quincy and Raphael, who were all in his custody by the time of his demise.
Zari is now in a serious fight with Ivan’s family over his wealth. His family thinks she had no business with whatever Ivan Ssemwanga had left behind. They blame her for his death, contending that when she left him for Tanzanian superstar Diamond, Ivan Ssemwanga was never the same. He became hypertensive. And died of stroke. That is why the latest claim by Zari that Ivan Ssemwanga Left Nothing On His Account, and he died With No Money On Him may be taken with a pinch of salt by his family. Zari was with Ivan Ssemwanga all throughout the time he was in a coma and when he breathed his last…Ivan’s family are yet to respond!
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