Tony Lenart found innocent of all charges
2008 - Uganda

Summary in Brief: Some of Tony Lenart's staff managed to steal money and various items belonging to him and the institutions he represented. Part of their plan was to discredit Mr Lenart in order to take over his Institute and to set up their own company which they called World University of Leadership (Uganda) in order to market courses under their own name.

To do this they organised for him to be arrested and held overnight on trumped-up charges such as forging his own certificates.  Tony Lenart was found innocent of all charges made against him. The magistrate, Margaret Tibulya summarised her judgment by saying "I have found no evidence on those charges against the accused. I therefore acquit him." Articles in newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald , , and Channel 9 - MSN carried the story on 16th & 18th December 2008.

The full details including the background to the story and various issues pertaining to it are included below

A picture of Tony Lenart's ransacked office

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Tony Lenart's main job is as the International Chairman of the Institute of Advanced Leadership (IAL). In this role he trained thousands of corporate, government, NGO, military, and religious leaders. His work in conflict resolution and mediation have helped end two wars in Africa

In a purely voluntary capacity, Tony Lenart has also worked as the Regional Director (Africa) for World University of Leadership (USA). Hundreds of leaders in a number of African countries  (including Ministers, Generals and University Registrars or Deans) have taken the opportunity to study through World University of Leadership (USA)'s distance education program.

In Uganda, Professor Mondo Kagonyera, the Chancellor of Makerere University (sometimes described as the Harvard of East Africa) told students "I can assure you, as it has been said elsewhere, the quality of the knowledge you have been receiving is not inferior to any that people have obtained from the most prestigious universities of the world". (16/12/05)

Every student studying in Africa has received a scholarship paying between 50% and 80% of their tuition - reducing fees for most students to just $1 a day. As a result, the provision of programs (through distance education run from USA) has been a costly labour of love for the directors and volunteers from USA, Australia and Canada - but students have shared that the programs have helped them enormously. Business students have shared that they are earning more each month than they used to earn in a year. And many dozens of NGO's have been started by World Uni's Development Studies / NGO Leadership students.

Background / Time Line  (Some dates are approximate)

2003 - The Institute of Advanced Leadership (Uganda), founded by Tony Lenart and the Institute of Advanced Leadership (Australia) agreed to act as agents in Africa for World University of Leadership. At no point did they register, establish or operate any university in Africa. However, they did connect Africans with World University (USA) so they could study through distance education.

100's of students shared how much the program has helped them due to it's distance-education nature, it's practicality, it's depth, the way it builds character etc.

2006 - The Vice President of South Sudan, Reik Machar, expressed interest in Tony Lenart (as the International Chairman of the Institute of Advanced Leadership) training the top people (Ministers, Department Heads etc.) of the new government. He said he would like Tony Lenart to teach conflict resolution and mediation skills to the delegation of the notorious LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) rebel group who were attending peace talks mediated by Reik Machar.

Tony was also requested by the Interior Minister of Uganda to train the delegation. And people such as the Foreign Minister of State expressed interest in learning more about conflict resolution and mediation from Tony Lenart.

Dec 2006 - Jan 2007 - Local staff of the Institute of Advanced Leadership stole the equipment IAL had been purchasing to work in South Sudan (a very inhospitable area without electricity or running water, yet scorchingly hot). IAL's Toyota Landcruiser and a cheaper 4WD were taken, as was the industrial strength generator, satellite phone, video camera, and all of IAL's office equipment purchased for Sudan.

Threats were made against Mr Lenart that he would be turned into the police for "helping the rebels" despite well knowing that Tony Lenart had been asked by the Vice President, Interior Minister, and senior diplomats to train them in conflict resolution.

January 2007 - Staff who Tony had hired to run the IAL-Uganda (World University Agency), began setting up their own university using the materials and the entire program of World University of Leadership (USA), and writing to students saying they should leave World University and join them.

- Tony Lenart's Ugandan office was broken into.

15th Jan- 23,500,000 Ugandan shillings (US$14K) was illegally withdrawn from the account for unauthorised use by the managers of IAL-Uganda and IAL-Uganda (World University Agency).

2nd Feb - Tony Lenart wrote to the Head of the Ugandan Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) reporting the two managers for theft, abuse of office and other crimes. (One of these managers then complained about Tony to the police - making numerous false allegations. Although the well documented theft of the managers has never been followed up, the false testimony of the managers led to Tony's arrest (and overnight imprisonment) and almost two years of court cases.)

12th Feb - Three staff Tony had hired to run the IAL-Uganda (World University Agency) established their own Ugandan University, registering "World University of Leadership" as their (for-profit) company. This was done without the knowledge or permission of Tony Lenart or World University of Leadership (USA). They establish the university and begin operating without a license from the Ugandan authorities.

15th Feb - (As the Institute of Advanced Leadership (Uganda) was designed to benefit Ugandans, Tony appointed Ugandans to fill all the directors positions (except for the role of Chairman which Tony filled himself.) Without notifying Tony, the Ugandan managers and directors organised a board-meeting, and used the false allegations they had made against Tony as justification to remove him as a director, and to take over all of the organisation's assets from Tony & IAL-International. One of the people Tony reported to the CID for theft, abuse of office and other crimes, was made a director.

16th Feb - Tony travelled from Sydney to Uganda to take action against the staff who had stolen the $14,000. At this point he was not aware of the staff's actions to take over the organisations for themselves.

20th Feb - Tony reported the break in of his office to Nsambya Police.
The manager of IAL-U (WorldUni Agency) admitted breaking into Tony Lenart's office, and this was recorded on a video camera.

- The managers he had earlier reported to police, organised for Tony's arrest (and overnight imprisonment) on trumped up charges such as forging his own certificates.
The video camera (and the recording of the break-in confession) was taken by police and wasn't returned until four years later.

- Numerous irregularities occured in the actions of the police involved. The Assistant Police Commissioner - Crime Investigations, and the Asssistant to the Inspector General of Police later said it was obvious the police involved had been bribed and that the charges were malicious.

The actual charges were

1/ Establishing and operating a university without a Ugandan license. (Even though IAL-Uganda (World University Agency) did nothing more than act as an agent for World University (USA) - connecting students and organising scholarships covering 50%-80%. of the costs for all students. There were no university bank accounts, no lecturers, no lectures, and all assignments were sent overseas by students.)

2/ Forging the certificate of incorporation. (Even though a quick look on the internet under the US Government incorporation records showed World University to be of good standing.)

3/ Forging degree certificates of World University. (As a director of World University this would mean Tony was forging his own certificates. This is like forging your own signature. To actually stand as an offense this would need to follow a complaint by World University. However, World University had no complaints at all about Mr Lenart.)

4/ Uttering (giving out) false documents (ie. The certificates.) (In fact all certificates given out in Uganda were manufactured overseas and signed in Australia by the Chairman of World University. These were then handed to successful students who had completed their distance education program, by
Prof Mondo Kagonyera, the Minister of General Duties in the Prime Minister's Office, and currently the Chancellor of East Africa's top university - Makerere University.)

April 2007 onwards - The proceedings of the court case moved very slowly. After the first two witnesses (who were involved in taking over Tony's organisations), no other witness stood against him. However, the case continually delayed as prosecution waited on other witnesses (such as the police) who never ended up testifying. The magistrate allowed adjournment after adjournment for 8 months without a single witness testifying.

The first witness (a former manager and student) admitted that it was actually her and three others who established World University (the illegally registered one) in Uganda - without any permission, knowledge, or involvement of Tony Lenart or World University (USA). 

The second witness also attested to this fact, and gave no tangible evidence (verbally or in writing) against Tony. He was one of the two managers that Tony Lenart had reported to police three weeks before they organised for Tony to be arrested. (It was this manager who was the complainant in the case. No official body had complained against Tony, World University (USA) or IAL).

2008 - Tony Lenart found innocent - Tony Lenart was found innocent of all of the criminal charges made against him. The magistrate, Margaret Tibulya summarised her judgment by saying "I have found no evidence on those charges against the accused. I therefore acquit him." Articles in newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel 9 - MSN  carried the story on 18th December 2008.

If you'd like to read more, please look at
"A contemplation on morality"
- Tony Lenart's reflections on the challenges of working in Africa.

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