People living with HIV in Uganda face numerous challenges from discrimination and stigmatization to lack of full access to anti-retroviral drugs.
Now HIV-positive people in Jinja and neighbouring districts have an extra challenge to face, the police report.
Willy Kanuha, the chief criminal investigations officer in Jinja, says more than 100 HIV-positive people in the Busoga have been ripped off by a man promising them food, clothing and medical treatment. He says the suspect, Edward Kafuko conned people of more than 40 million shillings pledging to reduce their burden through his small microfinance organization.
Kafuko reportedly asked people to pay membership fees ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 shillings in order to benefit from his organizations. The police say many of Kafuko's victims sold off property in order to secure the registration fee, but never received the promised financial and medical support.
Since the week began several people have reported to the Jinja Central Police Station to file formal complaints against Edward Kafuko. The police say they are building a file against the suspect and will charge him in court soon.
In recent months, several non-governmental organizations and microfinance institutions have been investigated for defrauding the public. Most prominent among them is Caring for Orphans, Widows and the Elderly (COWE), which is accused of defrauding its members in southwestern Uganda of more than 240 million shillings. A second organization, African Christian in Development is accused of stealing millions from its members in Masindi and Ntungamo districts after promising them low-interest loans and school fees for their children.