Last year, Victoria Basin Micro Finance closed all its five branches in Kalisizo, Kyotera, Lyantonde, Mutukula, and Lugaaga branch in Isingiro district after its managers including Ananias Ssekyanzi, the Kooki Chiefdom Premier, allegedly embezzled more than one billion shillings.
Police in Rakai on Thursday ordered the immediate re-opening of Victoria Basin Micro Finance offices, days after clients in Kalisizo protested demanding for their savings and arrest of former managers.
Late last year, Victoria Basin Micro Finance closed all its five branches in Kalisizo, Kyotera, Lyantonde, Mutukula, and Lugaaga branch in Isingiro district after its managers including Ananias Ssekyanzi, the Kooki Chiefdom Premier, allegedly embezzled more than one billion shillings.
Others accused of embezzling people’s savings include Baker Kasagga, the Micro Finance treasurer, Susan Namujju Kintu, the current Manager, Ronald Ssitankya, Benon Kirembeka, Livingstone Kakembo, Paul Kavuma and Vianney Mukasa among others who were all board members of the micro finance.
It is alleged that these board members led by Ananias Ssekyanazi connived and embezzled the funds.
On Tuesday this week, over 200 clients who saved their money with the Micro Finance protested against its closure without giving them their savings. They also demanded for the immediate arrest of all the former managers accused of embezzling their funds. It took the intervention of anti riot police to calm the clients.
Police then convened several crisis meetings with the management of the Micro Finance to address the rising tension.
Alex Twebaze, the Rakai District Police Commander who commanded the anti riot police to quell the clients’ protests, says police have ordered the management to re-open all the closed branches to avoid violence.
Twebaze explains that since there are some suspects who have agreed to refund some money, the Micro Finance should re-open its branches on Friday so that they get some of the money to pay the angry clients pending more investigations.
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Susan Namujju Kintu, the Victoria Micro Finance Director who is also implicated says the Micro Finance lost up to one billion shillings both through embezzlement and defaulting.
Kintu explains that in addition to the misappropriation of UGX 680 million, there are over 30 defaulters who took more than UGX400 million but failed to pay back. She claims that if the Micro Finance can recover the money from defaulters, it can pay its debts and recover.
Kintu also says when it finally re-opens, no deposits will be allowed until financial recovery is complete.
Sarah Lunkuse, the chairperson of a 40-member Tuzukuke Women Group in Rakai, claims that the Micro Finance was closed with six million shillings of their savings.
Lunkuse says they are now demanding for all their money to take it to other credible banks because they have lost trust in Victoria Basin.
Currently, anti riot police is still patrolling Kalisizo town council to avoid any further outbreak of violence.
This is not the first Micro Finance institution to be closed. Late last year, Taala Ya Mawogola Micro Finance closed all its three branches in Sembabule after its manager, Ibrahim Were, disappeared with more than 600 million shillings belonging to clients.
In April last year, Lyantonde RDC Aidah Bikorendwa also closed Access Micro Finance after its managers allegedly stole savings worth 14 million shillings.
victoria micro finance
embezzlement of funds
prosperity for all
kooki katikiro ssekyanzi
anti riot police deployed
re-opening of kalisizo branch