Tony Lenart found
innocent of all charges
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 , AllAfrica.com , 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
Go straight to:
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.
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.
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.
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 actual charges
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, AllAfrica.com and Channel 9 - MSN carried the story on 18th December 2008.
"A contemplation on morality"
- Tony Lenart's reflections on the challenges of working in Africa.
Best of the Best
All rights reserved. Last updated December, 2008