LIRA, December 22, 2023 – As Ugandans prepare for Christmas festivities, four Village Savings and Loan Association [ VSLA ] groups in Lango Sub-region have lost over Shs 100 million to robbers, and their executive committee members.
According to the North Kyoga Regional Police Spokesperson, Jimmy Patrick Okema, 50 percent of the money was robbed while the rest was swindled by the executive committee members of VSLAs.
Some executive members especially treasurers set their houses ablaze and others committed suicide after losing the money, according to Okema.
Okema cited an incident in Alebtong district where Shs 45mln belonging to the members of the VSLA group was taken at gunpoint by the suspected robbers still at large.
“Another incident happened in Anai where Shs 35mln was robbed while in Kole district a lady committed suicide after failing to serve the loans she borrowed,” Okema said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We want to appeal to the public especially the VSLA groups to always go with the security while going to withdraw savings from the bank for sharing or open up accounts for all the members. Instead of moving with large amount of money from the bank to the village without security which may lead to robbery,” he added.
Okema`s statement came shortly after two suspects [Felix Ongom and Daniel Emor] who belong to Acan Pite Ilwete VSLA group were arrested on allegation of confiscating a motor vehicle and household properties of Gerald Odyek, for failing to pay back a loan.
“He [Gerald Odyek] was supposed to pay all the money in November 2023. Unfortunately, he only paid Shs 1.4mln leaving out the balance of Shs 2.1mln,” he said.
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