Thousands of people in Kabale district lost their money to a shady NGO, Caring for Orphans Widows and the Elderly (COWE) in 2006.
Two years have passed since the affected people petitioned court against the directors of COWE, the case has not been heard and no action has been taken to help them recover their money.
Joy Mutazindwa says she lost five million shillings to COWE in March 2006 and will never be the same again. Mutazindwa says she was convinced to join COWE when the leaders of the organization went on radio promising to help orphans, widows and the elderly.
With dependants left by her late brother and parents, Mutazindwa says she could resist the temptation to join COWE, she needed help.
She paid 12,000 shillings for members ship and 60,000-shilling registration to be able to benefit from the financial and material support that COWE was promising.
Mutazidwa later deposited large sums of money with COWE in the hope of obtaining high interest monthly returns and low cost loans.
But misfortune struck, COWE closed shop before it would make good on its promise and return depositors savings. According to Mutazindwa she is still servicing loans she acquired to deposit in COWE, using family land.
She says her family has since 2006 suffered and always hopes she will one day get back her money. Antelli Twahirwa, the vice chairman of COWE task force formed to help affected members get back their money, says that 15,000 opened up complaints against COWE.
Twahirwa says that the task force has been following up the criminal case against the directors of COWE in Kabale magistrate court but has been frustrated.
He says the case was opened in 2006 but was only heard last year in October by the then chief Magistrate Irene Akakwasa who was transferred.
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Twahirwa says that the new magistrate has not allocated a day for hearing this case to the dismay of members who lost over 4 billion shillings.
Twahirwa says another civil case was opened in Kampala but the judge who was allocated the file declined it and no one has taken it up.
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Twahirwa says government should help them get justice or soft loan like they did to vendors in Owino.
He says that many former members of COWE are languishing in jail for defaulting on loans. Two top directors of COWE