KIKUUBE –Authorities in the Western District of Kikuube have arrested John Paul Mugabi, the chairman of Buhaguzi Constituency Mechanics Saving and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO), on suspicion of stealing Shs 21 million from the SACCO bank account.
He was arrested on April 9 at the urging of Kikuube District Resident Commissioner Amlan Tumusime following complaints from SACCO members.
The suspect allegedly connived with the association treasurer and Secretary Joshua Muhumuza – withdrew Shs 21 million on March 16, 2021, and shared it out in a lodge.
Mugabi, according to SACCO members, took Shs 15.2m; the treasury got Shs 3 million and the secretary Shs 3.6 million. The secretary and treasurer allegedly shared their loot with the association members.
Mugabi, according to Tumusime, used his share of Shs 15.2 million to procure a new car.
Tumusime said the stolen Shs 21m was meant to benefit six Emyooga Associations, which include; Bumbogo A&B Mechanics Association, Kidoma Mechanics Association, Butole A & B Mechanics Association, and Kyangwali Mechanics Association. Bumbogo A and Kidoma got some of the looted money because the Sacco treasurer and secretary are members.
“I had to arrest one of the chairpersons of the SACCO who went to the banks with the treasurer and secretary, after withdrawing Shs 21 million from the banks, instead of taking this money to the beneficiaries, they hired a lodge and shared this money,” he said.
“The secretary was given Shs 3.6 million; the treasurer got Shs 3miilon and the chairperson took Shs 15.2 million but at least the secretary and treasurer took the money to the association members but the chairperson decided to use the money to buy a vehicle. So we arrested and detained him here at Kikuube police station,” he said, adding, “we need that money back so that it goes to the beneficiaries, we need people to fight poverty, we need people to create employment opportunities for others, now people are just joking around, I will not accept that,” he said.
The RDC said police are also hunting down the chairperson of Buhaguzi Constituency Veteran’s Saving and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO) who withdrew money and disappeared.
At Kikuube police station, Mugabi was last weekend paraded before the SACCO members and interrogated.
The suspect denied taking Sh15.2 million. He said he took Shs 11 million. He said he invested the money in a business enterprise, which he did not specify.
Mugabi asked to be released so that he can sell his plot of land and other property to refund the money.
“I don’t have that money in cash but I have property which I can sell and get over Shs 11 million. I have a plot worth Shs 14 million and another piece of land worth Shs 5 million so I can sell the two and refund your money instead of keeping me in custody,” he requested.
James Karinte, the secretary of Butole mechanics Emyooga Association, and other members demanded that Mugabi explains where the balance of Shs 4.2 million is since he denied taking Shs 15 million.
“He has disappointed us, so we do not expect him to waste our time, let him refund our money; I joined Emyooga to get money to boost my business but now you see what he has subjected to us. I have been here five times, I have been to the commercial officer four times and whenever I come here at the district, I spend Shs 14,000 on transport and Shs 5,000 on lunch so who will compensate this money.” one SACCO member complained.
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