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Masqueraders Return Shs 3 Billion Stolen From Teachers’ Revolving Fund

The Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) has recovered Shillings 3.8billion that had been stolen by some suspects masquerading as teachers in government schools.

The CID Spokesperson, Charles Twine, says that they also managed to intercept another Shillings 7.8billion that was on account in DFCU bank.

Police have since last year been investigating circumstances under which, more than Shillings 11billion provided by the government as a revolving fund for teachers went missing.

According to Twine, when the government availed the money, some unscrupulous individuals rushed to set up 42 Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs), which they used to obtain the money fraudulently.

Trouble for the suspects started after some banks started deducting money from the teacher’s bank accounts to clear loans they did not take. The majority of the affected teachers filed complaints at various police stations, which attracted the attention of the CID headquarters. According to the police, some of the suspects willingly refunded the money totalling Shillings 3.8billion.

Some of the masqueraders used the money to finance their 2021 political campaigns. The unscrupulous SACCOs include among others Gulu Integrated Teachers’ Sacco, Iganga Based Teachers’ Sacco, Kigulu Integrated Teachers Sacco, Kasese Municipal Teachers’ Sacco, Entebbe Municipal Teachers’ Sacco, Mpigi Teachers’ Sacco, Gomba Teachers’ Sacco, Kiruhura Teachers’ Sacco, Wakiso Teachers’ Sacco, Busaana Teachers’ Sacco, Nakigo Teachers’ Sacco, Isikiro Teachers’ Sacco, Kakiri Teachers’ Sacco, Kiryandongo Teachers’ Sacco and Kibuli Core Teachers’ Sacco.

About the Money

In 2015, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the release of Shilling 25billion. The ministry of finance released the money to Education and Sports Ministry, which invited bidders to manage the funds. After scrutinizing the bids, the ministry selected Microfinance Support Centre–MSC to manage the funds.

The ministry then disbursed Shillings 9.3billion to the MSC for distribution to teacher’s Saccos. However, it later emerged that the money hand ended up in the control of financial institutions instead of teachers’ SACCOs. CID discovered that Finance Trust Bank and Hofokamu microfinance had accessed Shillings 6billion and 3 billion respectively.

When the news circulated that MSC was giving the teacher’s money to banks, Uganda National Teachers Union-UNATU then organized protests to compel the government to allow it to manage the money. However, UNATU could not control the funds because it was at the level of an association.

“A decision was made to create an account under Walimu Teacher’s Union with the hope that Chief Administrative Officers- CAOs would verify applicants and whether they were indeed on the government payroll and did not have running loans. But all that was bypassed with connivance from the districts up to Walimu Teachers SACCO,” Twine said.

Police discovered that after getting the money fraudulently, Sacco managers went ahead and withdrew it physically instead of transferring it to successful applicants electronically. He says that the fake managers got bank details of teachers who were members of their Saccos and submitted them to Walimu Sacco as people who had benefited from the revolving fund.

In an attempt to recover the money, Walimu Sacco approached Uganda Bankers Association and coded several accounts of unsuspecting teachers, which led to the deduction of their salaries. So far, according to Twine, detectives have found glaring evidence of fraud and forgeries against some Saccos and conferenced with the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution to prioritize 12 of the 42 case files.


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