More than 80 members of Abarata Kere Savings and Credit Cooperative in Kanyum sub-county, Kumi district, want the SACCO administrators probed over alleged embezzlement.
The members accuse their administrators of embezzling savings worth UGX 130 million.
The SACCO was formed in 2013, following a 2011 campaign directive by President Yoweri Museveni.
Mr. Museveni ordered residents to form a SACCO so that they could get loans at lower interest rates, for agriculture and other development projects.
According to sources, the President also promised to extend help so that the SACCO could grow bigger and eradicate poverty in the area.
After its inception in 2013, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party chairman for Kanyum sub-county, Mr. Rajab Mungul was elected as the Board Chairperson.
Each member was required to save Ushs 20,000 per month.
However, investigations by thecooperator magazine reveal that since 2013, no member has been able to acquire a loan, and they accuse the administrators, led by Mr. Mungul, of embezzling their savings.
Among others named in the scandal include the cashier and the General Secretary, Mr. Moses Emorut who also doubles as the Gombolola Internal Security Officer (GISO) for Kanyum sub-county.
Mr. Simon Peter Okedi alias Movit, one of the concerned members said that he has saved up to Ushs. 2,000,000 with the SACCO, from his boda boda business.
He alleges that he has made more than ten trips to the SACCO offices to withdraw his money, in vain.
A visibly angry Mr. Okedi told our reporter that the management of the SACCO has kept promising to pay him, in vain.
Ms. Sarah Apio, a dealer in second-hand clothes said she deposited Ushs. 500,000 and applied for a loan of Ushs. 10 million but she has not received it.
She needed the money to expand her business but the SACCO administrators kept tossing her around until she gave up.
“All attempts to recover my earlier deposits have been unsuccessful,” Ms. Apio says.
Another member who preferred anonymity, says the SACCO administrators, for the last three years have not held an Annual General Meeting (AGM).
“We have been asking our bosses to convene an AGM to discuss issues affecting the SACCO but unfortunately nothing has been done to that effect,” he said.
He believes that the administrators of the SACCO, led by Mr. Rajab Mungul are not willing to convene an AGM because they swindled all the funds.
The members now want Mr. Rajab Mungul and other administrators investigated for embezzling their savings.
Mr. Moses Angiro, the cashier of the SACCO acknowledges that he collected the money in question and banked it on the SACCO’s account but the administrators withdrew it and used it without accountability.
He now fears for his life because the members have threatened to attack him yet he has done nothing wrong.
However, when contacted for a comment, Mr. Mungul refuted the accusation labelled against him and the team saying that the Ushs. 130 million is part of unrecovered loans.
“The money in question was borrowed by some teachers who have since defaulted on servicing their loan,” he explained.
Mr. Mungul said that they are embarking in a strict recovery process of the money from defaulters.
The SACCO members have said that if the administrators do not address their grievances, they will redirect the matter to the office of the Local Council (LC) 5 Chairman and the Resident District Commissioner.