SACCO Members Throw Out Board Over Mismanagement Of Funds

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George Mugume, a member says that they were surprised to find that out of the 116 million shillings that was on the account, there was a balance of only 2,

Members of Nyabukara Savings and Credit Cooperative, one of the largest SACCOs in Kabarole district have thrown out the board of directors over allegations of misappropriation of funds. They include Tom Rubaale, the chairman, Patrick Akora, Tusiime Kasaija, Tom Ngasirwa and Sylvia Komuhangi. 
 
They were thrown out during an extra ordinary meeting chaired by Steven Asiimwe, the resident district commissioner. The members accuse the board of failing to account for Shs 116M, which was given to the SACCO by the Micro Finance Support Centre.  In September, the board was given an ultimatum of two months to account for the funds.
 
However on Wednesday during the meeting, Rubaale failed to account for the funds. In his defence, Rubaale denied embezzling the funds. He told the members that the money was spent on workshops and mobilizing members to join the group so that it can expand and have a bigger pool. He also said that some members have refused to pay back loans they borrowed. 
 
However the members weren't convinced with his defense and they unanimously voted out the board. 
 
The members elected a new board which includes Charles Brown as the chairperson, Apollo Bwango, the vice chairperson, Joram Bitamazire, the treasurer. Other members are Eva Musinguzi, Jane Kabahenda and Emmanuel Byaruhanga.
 
Steven Asiimwe, the RDC ordered that an audit should be carried out on the SACCO account and if any funds are found to have been embezzled, members of the board should be held responsible.
 
George Mugume, a member says that they were surprised to find that out of the 116 million shillings that was on the account, there was a balance of only Ugx 2300. Mugume said that the board members should either refund the money or face the law.
 
Nyabukara SACCO with more than 1,000 members was formed five years ago. Members of the SACCO get loans on lower interest rates for agriculture and other development projects.
 
This year the district commercial office and district production and natural resources committee carried out a survey which showed that that the future of SACCOs in the district lies in balance after most of the members' savings have been swindled by the SACCOs' leadership. They proposed that the office of the RDC takes a lead in investigating the SACCOs and monitoring their activities.
 
Top managers of SACCOs in different parents of the country have come under criticism for the poor management, which has forced some members leave the SACCOs.