MASINDI – John Byaruhanga commonly known as Bizimungu, a resident of Bubanda village in Ntooma Parish, Bwijanga Sub County, Masindi district has dragged Kyotamanya Savings and Credit Society Organization [SACCO] to Masindi Grade 1 Magistrate Court over a debt amounting to Shs 20 million.
According to Byaruhanga who is also a member of the same SACCO, he lent the SACCO Shs 20 million to save it from losing properties worth millions which were about to be auctioned by one Julius Kiiza who had won a case in court against the same SACCO.
Byaruhanga told theCooperator that Shs 20 million accrued from Shs 2 million which Kiiza had lent the SACCO in 2015.
“After the SACCO failed to pay Kiiza his money, he went to court and won the case which made the money to accumulate from Shs 2 million to Shs 20 million. Kiiza using the court bailiff wanted to auction the SACCO property but I said as a member I couldn’t sit and see the SACCO losing properties due to Shs 20 million,” Byaruhanga explained.
He added that as a way of saving the SACCO from losing the property, he cleared the debt in December 2017, adding that he was surprised to see the SACCO failing to give him his money.
“I paid this money in the Office of the Commercial Officer Masindi and it was witnessed by Christine Kengonzi the former Commercial Officer.
“I made an agreement with the SACCO but it failed to pay me my money. After the SACCO failed to pay, we made another agreement on March 3, 2018, and they accepted to give me a plot measuring 30 by 50 feet in Kikingura trading centre. This plot has a two-roomed commercial house in it,” he said.
He said that this plot is on a piece of titled land belonging to the SACCO noting that he has been waiting for the SACCO management to re-demarcate the land.
“What triggered me to go to court is when I saw the SACCO leaders excavating a pit latrine on the plot which was allocated to me. I have engaged the SACCO leaders several times to open the boundaries in vain. This is the only thing which will make me understand the boundaries of my plot,” Byaruhanga noted.
He noted that he wants the court to help him get the surveyor to open the boundaries such that he can officially own the plot.
Currently, the case is before Masindi Grade 1 magistrate. We were supposed to come for a hearing on Thursday but the hearing adjourned to October 23 2021, since the SACCO leaders never showed up.
Commenting on the matter, Charles Businge Kahwa, the Chairperson, Kyotamanya SACCO said that Byaruhanga is a controversial man who turned against the SACCO explaining that an agreement was reached and he was given a two-roomed commercial house but not the whole plot.
“He turned against us because we agreed that he takes the building but not the whole plot. Even minutes were recorded we have them. He even earlier filed a case in the same court against us but it was dismissed with costs. He has just reinstated it. His intention is to grab our property but for us, we are ready to defend it,” said Kahwa.
Kahwa said that the SACCO is grappling with many challenges saying that currently, they’re struggling to recover Shs 36 million which members took as loans.
“I assumed the office of the Chairperson in 2018. I found when the books had spent more than 10 years without being audited. People took the money but they deliberately refused to pay it back. When I came, I tried to recover this money but instead, I started receiving threats from the members saying if I don’t forego the money, I would get problems,” he further explained.
“The SACCO had many properties but they were all mismanaged by the past leadership,” he noted.
Kyotamanya SACCO is one of the first SACCOs which started in 2008 after President Museveni launched SACCOs in Masindi in 2006.
At first, it was a role model in the region but it later got challenges of poor leadership and mismanagement of funds.
In 2018, Christine Kengonzi, the then Commercial Officer organised a special general meeting to organize for elections after the SACCO had spent 10 years without conducting annual general meetings.
During the elections which were held at Kikingura Primary School, most of the members declined to take the management positions because the SACCO had many challenges including defaulters.
But they later accepted after they were convinced by the Commercial Officer.
Kahwa says, he is planning to organize an annual general meeting to chat a way forward.
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