A trader in Lira, posing as a representative of the local NGO Feed the Children, is in a new money-for -scholarships scam.
A 29-year-old man who has been masquerading as the manager of a Lira-based organization, Feed the Children, has been arrested for obtaining money by false pretence. Rashid Ekika is accused of defrauding the families of more than 70 orphans of 2.5 million shillings.
Henry Alyang, the Central North police spokesman, says Ekika worked with two other men to defraud the families of the orphans, promising them scholarships and food. He says the suspects offered huge benefits for the families if they could pay 50,000 shillings each for their children.
The scam has been ongoing since June last year.
Robert Mwambo says he was shocked when his children were sent back home for failing to pay school fees. He says he had believed in Rashid Ekika and was grateful that someone was helping him take care of his orphaned children.
Mwambo says he later learned that the suspect gave him a forged letter from Feed the Children. He reported the matter to the police and discovered that many other families were facing a similar predicament.
34-year-old Harriet Kia of Barogole in Lira town, says she paid 60,000 shillings to Rashid Ekika to ensure that her children received scholarships at Adyel Primary School. Her children were also sent home by the school because it had never heard of Ekika and were not part of a deal with Feed the Children.
Ekika says he was coerced into committing the crime. He claims that he was an employee of Feed the Children in Kaberamaido District until May last year. He says several market vendors whom he traded with learned of his past employment and begged him to put them in contact with Feed the Children.
Ekika says he was pressured into accepting money in exchange for scholarships and after a while, he gave in. He says he received only 30,000 shillings from the impoverished families in Lira and kept it for himself.
Rashid Ekika is being held at Lira Central Police Station. He will be charged with obtaining money by false pretence later this week.
Feed the Children has denied any role in the scam.
obtaining money by false pretence
feed the children