Kanungu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Two leaders of Kikizi West Constituency Journalists Cooperative Savings and Credit Union in Kanungu district are in trouble over alleged failure to account for part of the Emyooga funds.
The two currently being held at Kihihi police station are Eliab Niwagaba, a radio presenter at Kinkizi FM radio, and also the chairperson of the association and his treasurer Ausi Senyunja who reportedly failed to account for shillings 13 million.
The two were arrested following a petition by some of their group members led by Patson Bareire, Mackline Atuheire, Sarah Akampurira, Sumaya Ampeire, Emmanuel Mubunya, Glorious Amumpaire and Clemensia Twine.
One of the members, Clemensia Twine told this reporter that they organized an association of 24 members to apply for Emyooga funds to help them start up an income-generating project. Twine however says that after all the requirements were approved and money wired on their bank account early last month, Niwagaba without organizing a meeting withdrew some money and only accounted for shillings 17 million.
She says that they were forced to petition the office of the Kanungu Deputy Resident District Commissioner after Niwagaba declined to reveal the whereabouts of the balance.
Gad Rugaaju Ahimbisibwe, Kanungu Deputy Resident District Commissioner confirms that preliminary investigations indicate that Niwagaba connived with Senyunja, a mobile money dealer in Kihihi town council and withdrew all the 30 million shillings from the association’s bank account using mobile banking technology.
He says that after withdrawing the money, Niwagaba shifted from Kihihi where he was residing and started a shop in Bugangari trading centre, Bugangari sub county, Rukungiri district. Rugaaju says that in addition to failure to account for shillings 17 million, Niwagaba and Senyunja withdrew shillings 480,000 members’ savings. Rugaaju says that Niwagaba also went ahead and recruited Senyunja as a journalist and yet he is a well known mobile money dealer.
According to Rugaaju, the duo was arrested today after they failed to abide by the commitment they made during April 23rd meeting with Calebs Owomuhangi, Kanungu District Commercial Officer where they testified to have failed to account for the money.
Julius Tugumenawe, the Kanungu District Police Commander told our reporter that the duo is being held as investigations into the matter continue. The Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation, commonly known as Emyooga targets SACCOs formed in specialized fields that need capital to boost their incomes.
Each Saving and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) is given 30 million shillings as seed capital while districts receive 570 million shillings to support the SACCOs. The targeted groups include journalists, bodaboda cyclists, women enterprises, carpenters, tailors, mechanics, blacksmithing, carpentry, mechanics, pottery, performing artists, and fishermen among others.