Uganda
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Mbarara officials arrested over Emyooga funds

State mMinister for Finance Planning and Economic Development, in charge of Microfinance, Hajj Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune explains Emyooga. Some people have fallen in trouble for not following the guidelines. FILE PHOTO

Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Assistant Commercial Officer of Mbarara City and three Emyooga SACCO leaders are in custody for the alleged misappropriation of over Shillings 30Million.

The suspects are Donati Mutahi, the Assistant City commercial officer, Agaspus Taremwa, the Chairperson of Mbarara City Saloon Emyooga SACCO, Twaha Nagwagye, his Secretary and treasurer, Enid Tinkamanyire. Mutahi is also accused of trying to bribe the RCC with Shillings 10 million to drop inquiries into the allegations against him.

Moses Ariho, the Assistant Resident City Commissioner in Charge of Mbarara City South Division, says Mutahi’s arrest came after he was implicated by SACCO leaders following their arrest on Tuesday afternoon. He says that the Sacco leaders accused the commercial officer of taking Shillings 6 Million out of the Shillings 30 Million meant for their Sacco.

According to Ariho, despite the claim by the Sacco leaders, that the money was borrowed by other SACCO members their investigations show that the Chairperson, Treasurer, and Secretary withdrew the money without the consent of other members.

He says that they have directed all leaders under the SACCO to register statements with police as the main signatories remain in custody. Ariho says that they have received various complaints of bribery against Mutahi and the principal commercial officer.

The RCC says before the arrest, the assistant commercial officer attempted to bribe him with Shillings 10M but he turned down the offer.

Mutahi has denied the accusations of fraud, saying that the RCC is only bent on tarnishing his image in the public. Samson Kasasira, the Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson has confirmed the detention of the suspects, saying that investigations have been ongoing for the last two weeks.

Mbarara city received Shillings 1 Billion under the Emyooga program, which was shared between Mbarara City North Division and Mbarara City South division with each receiving Shillings 500 Million. The money was disbursed to 36 groups with each getting Shillings 30 million.

Launched in August 2019, the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job creation (Emyooga) is a government strategy targeting to transform homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production with the overall objective of promoting job creation and improving household incomes.

The initiative was centered on 18 enterprises, which are facilitated with both technical and financial support to enhance the performance of their projects.