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SACCO Leaders In Trouble Over Theft Of Shs 21.7 Million

Two leaders of Kyetume Parish Development Model SACCO in Luwero district are in police custody on charges of embezzling funds intended for beneficiaries. The suspects are Brian Aturinde, the Chairperson of Kyetume Parish Development Model SACCO, and his secretary Charles Emoit. They are accused of stealing Shillings 21,700,000 from the SACCO members.

Luwero Resident District Commissioner, Richard Bwabye ordered the duo’s arrest following complaints from the beneficiaries. According to Bwabye, the SACCO received Shillings 58 million under the PDM program for providing loans to its members.

However, the SACCO leaders allegedly extended loans of Shillings 500,000 to each member but coerced them to acknowledge receipt of Shillings one million. Upon receiving complaints from the intended beneficiaries, Bwabye directed the police to arrest the suspects. During the subsequent interrogation, Aturinde and Emoit admitted to pocketing the excess amounts.

Bwabye further revealed that leaders from six other parishes are also being investigated for similar theft and disbursing funds to ineligible individuals. The Luwero District Police Commander, Living Twazagye, confirmed that the two suspects are currently in custody at Luwero Central Police Station awaiting their appearance before the magistrate to face charges of theft of government funds.

“After receiving information from the RDC, we took action and apprehended the leaders. We are still conducting investigations, and once concluded, they will be presented in court to answer the charges,” stated Twazagye. The PDM program, launched by President Yoweri Museveni in February 2022, aims to combat poverty by executing development initiatives at the parish level.

As part of the program, the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development disbursed 58 million shillings to 93 PDM SACCOs and seven million shillings to eight PDM SACCOs in Luwero district. However, only 50 SACCOs in Luwero have successfully provided loans to community beneficiaries.

In his report for the year 2021/22, Auditor General John FS Muwanga highlighted that 79 billion shillings from the revolving fund allocated to 8,703 SACCOs across 169 local governments remained untouched in SACCO bank accounts.

Muwanga emphasized that the failure to utilize the disbursed funds hampers the achievement of PDM objectives, which aim to improve community livelihoods and may compromise the recovery of advanced funds.

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