Uganda News

Rubanda deputy speaker arrested in Emyooga scandal

Mbabazi, who is also the Hamurwa sub county LC V councilor, was detained on Monday for obtaining a loan of 1.2 million Shillings from a journalist's Sacco despite the fact that he is not a journalist.

Pierre Mbabazi Nyetegyereize, the deputy speaker of Rubanda district, and two others are accused of mismanaging funds intended for the Kabale Journalists Emyooga Sacco. Mbabazi, who is also the Hamurwa sub county LC V councilor, was detained on Monday for obtaining a loan of 1.2 million Shillings from a journalist’s Sacco despite the fact that he is not a journalist.

Moses Henry Tahoreraho, the Executive Director of Western Media Wards, and Bright Manure, the Treasurer of Kabale Municipality Journalists Emyooga Sacco were detained with him. The three was arrested by Kabale Resident District Commissioner Darius Nandinda for their suspected role in the misuse of Shillings 36 million sent to the journalists by the government as start-up funding.

It all started when Kabale District Commercial Officer Erasmus Natuhamya presented an audit report revealing Kabale Journalists Emyooga Sacco’s severe mismanagement. He stated that because the Sacco lacked cashbooks, payment vouchers, and receipt books, there was no clear record of money spent.

He also pointed out that Tahoreraho, the Sacco chairperson, had seized the powers of the Annual General Meeting, the Board Executive, the Vetting, and Supervisory Committees. Tahoreraho allegedly exploited his position to recruit non-journalists into the Sacco and disburse loans to members without consulting them, according to Natuhamya.

Following the arrest of Tahoreraho and the treasurer, he advised that the Sacco members pick a new board as quickly as possible. The accused will be held in jail until their families repay the money to the Sacco account and show bank slips to the police, according to Nandinda.

Tahoreraho said he was denied a fair hearing shortly after his detention and accused the RDC of harassment. He confessed that the Sacco does not include any media experts, claiming that they did not get adequate training.

Members of the Sacco executive have distanced themselves from Tahoreraho’s financial report, which details the Shillings 36 million spent. Tahoreraho, according to Executive Secretary Andrew Amanya Binyindo, refused them access to any records related to the allocation of Sacco monies.

The RDC has ordered the arrest of persons engaged in the mishandling of Kabale Municipality Journalist Emyooga Sacco on several occasions. After members accused Tahoreraho and his executive of mismanaging their funds, Nandinda ordered their arrest in July of this year.

Others said Tahoreraho demanded bribes before registering them in the Sacco and issuing loans to them. Following inquiries into the handling of Emyooga money in Kabale municipality a week ago, local Member of Parliament Dr. Nicholas Kamara stated that monies may never be retrieved due to a lack of a defined procedure for loan payback.

According to Dr. Kamara, the majority of Saccos failed to follow lending rules. No borrower had repaid any money to his or her respective Sacco by the time he filed his report. The Kabale Microfinance Support Centre got Shs1.6 billion from the government and distributed Shs560 million to Kabale Saccos.

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