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Uganda: President donates Shs50m to ghost women group Sacco

Kasese. President Museveni was tricked into donating Shs50m to a non-existing women group during his visit to Bukonzoi West Constituency in Kasese District last week.

While addressing the electorate at Karambi Playground in Bukonzo West Constituency, the President was deceived that local women had formed a savings and credit cooperative society (Sacco) and were in need of financial help to boost their incomes.

Upon hearing that there was a constituency women’s savings group, President Museveni quickly announced a donation of Shs50m to the ghost group as a State contribution towards the welfare of the Bukonzo West community.

“I was told that you have a women ‘s savings group, I have given you Shs50m and Shs20m to the Boda Boda Sacco. I want to do the same to all the constituencies in the district so that you can get equal shares for development,” the President announced.

He later said the funding was subject to investigation after his intelligence told him that Bukonzo West women Sacco did not exist.

Mr Museveni was in Kasese at the invitation of the local MP Atkins Godfrey Katusabe, who wanted the President to give him cash to distribute to his people. The President, however, withheld the money.

The President told the community that he was in the district to remind them on how to create wealth using the “4-acre model”, which provides a farmer with a variety of income generating activities.

RDC confirms ghost sacco
Kasese Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Lt Joe Walusimbi, told Daily Monitor that the said women’s savings group presented to the President for funding does not exist.

“We were aware of the deal that was hatched to the President to release the money to individuals in the name of the Sacco but we foiled it thorough our intelligence. We are investigating further to find out the people behind the ghost Sacco,” he said.

When contacted yesterday, whether there was a women’s savings group in his area, the Mpondwe – Lhubiriha Town Council chairperson, Mr Sylvester Mapoze, denied knowledge of the group.

“I am not aware of any Sacco that the President gave money. I only know three women groups in our sub-county that are to benefit from the Women Livelihood Programme but the group you are asking me now is just news to me,” he said.

Ms Mary Mbindule, a resident of Karambi, told Daily Monitor that the purported women’s savings group has never been heard of in the area.

She said it was only the boda boda group that had an umbrella Sacco for the constituency called Bukonzo West Boda Riders Association, which she said was also not active.

“At least for the boda boda, we know their association, but for the women it’s a pure lie. We have been here but we have never heard anything such as an association for women at constituency level,” Mr Mbindule said.

When contacted, the area MP Katusabe said: “We have multiple women and youth Saccos in the area waiting for funding from government.”

He was hesitant to admit whether the women’s savings group existed or not when asked about the Sacco he fronted to the President.

“I don’t want to be quoted over that issue but what I have to say is that issue is to be looked into and government has a lot more for people. So there is nothing to report about that women’s Sacco now,” he said by telephone.

By Daily Monitor

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