SPECIAL REPORT: Kole RDC flees, district CO arrested as over shs131m Emyooga funds go missing


Kole North MP, Dr Opio Samuel Acuti has released a detailed Emyooga report. Courtesy/File photo.

Kole – 18, August 2021: The RDC of Kole district, Rtd. Captain Buga Matata has silently left Kole prior to the release of the Kole District Emyooga Report. The district commercial officer, Mr Okello Joseph, has been arrested.

Okello’s counterpart, also a commercial officer, Okao Emmanuel, is on the run.

A report released by the Kole North Member of Parliament, Dr Samuel Opio Acuti, revealed that close to Ugandan shillings, 131,129,900 were missing from accounts of 16 Emyooga SACCOs.

According to the MP’s report, different amounts of Emyooga funds were withdrawn through authorizations given by the commercial officers by their recommendation letters to the SACCO leaders.

In the report, there are missing funds in the SACCO accounts and the funds disbursed, as loans did not match the amounts withdrawn.

Kole North performing artists SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 13,000,000 million. However, Uganda shillings 30,500,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 17,500,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North local leaders SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Ugandan shillings 46,000,000 million.

However, Uganda shillings 56,800,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 10,800,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North persons with disabilities SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 20,000,000 million. However, Dr Acuti’s report found that Uganda shillings 23,000,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda 3,000,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North Mechanics SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 17,000,000 million. However, Uganda shillings 30,000,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 13,000,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North Fishermen SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 27,910,000 million, however, Uganda shillings 35,000,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 7,090,000 million.

Similarly, Kole North Produce dealers SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 26,800,000 million, but Uganda shillings 32,850,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 6,050,000 million also siphoned out.

Kole North Youth leaders SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 28,100,000 million, however, Uganda shillings 41,200,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 13,100,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North Veterans SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 12,100,000 million, however, Uganda shillings 17,200,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 5,100,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North Tailors SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 32,160,000 million. However, Uganda shillings 41,733,900 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 9,573,900 million siphoned out.

Kole North Bodaboda SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 24,953,000 million, however, Uganda shillings 39,000,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 14,047,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North Salon SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 20,290,000, However, Uganda shillings 28,000,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 7,710,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North Carpenters SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 21,665,000 million. However, Uganda shillings 30,000,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 8,335,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North Welders SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 33,319,000 million. However, Uganda shillings 38,000,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 4,681,000 million siphoned out.

Kole North Restaurant owners SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 24,000,000 million. However, Uganda shillings 34,000,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 10,000,000 million siphoned out.

Again, Kole North Restaurant owners SACCO beneficiaries were found to have received Uganda shillings 31,995,000 million. However, Uganda shillings 33,388,000 million had been withdrawn from their accounts with an excess of Uganda shillings 1,393,000 million siphoned out.

The report also revealed that there were 22 cases where funds were withdrawn from the SACCO accounts through false pretense. In various SACCO associations, several instances where funds were withdrawn in the names of the associations as indicated in the bank statements but less money remitted to them as loans were noted.

For example, in Okwerodot, performing artist is indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 2,000,000 million. However, the funds withdrawn as a loan on 9th March 2021 were Uganda shillings 10,000,000 million only.

In Opeta, performing artist is indicated as having received a loan of Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million. However, the funds withdrawn as a loan on 9th March 2021 were Uganda shillings 9,000,000 million.

In Adellogo, the performing artist is indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 5,000,000 million. However, funds withdrawn as a loan on 9th March 2021 are indicated as Uganda shillings 8, 000, 000 million.

Alito parish local leaders are indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 7,000,000 million. However, the funds withdrawn from the account as loan on 5th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 7,800,000 million.

Ayara PWD is indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 5,000,000 million. However, the loan withdrawn from the bank on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million.

Ogwangacuma PWD is indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 5,000,000 million. However, the loan withdrawn from the bank on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 5,500,000 million.

Lelakot Parish PWD is indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 5,000,000 million. However, the loan withdrawn from the bank on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million.

Apuru Parish PWD is indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 5,000,000 million.  However, the loan withdrawn from the bank on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 5,500,000 million.

Ayala Oya mechanics is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 5,000,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 5th March 2021 is Uganda shillings  7,300,000 million.

Ayamo mechanics is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 5th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 9,000,000 million.

Akwirididi mechanics is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 5th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 8,700,000 million.

Apuru Fishermen is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 4,100,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 7,000,000 million.

Otkwach Fishermen is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 4,700,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million.

Apach Fishermen is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 4,600,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 8,000,000 million.

Opeta joint Fishermen is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 8,010,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 10,000,000 million.

Ayala Oya Fishermen is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 2,100,000.However, the loan amount withdrawn on 12th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 4,000,000 million.

Apach produce dealers is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 1,800,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 11th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million.

Akwirididi 5 produce dealers is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 2,800,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 11th March 2021 is UGX 3,000,000 million.

Opeta 2 produce dealers is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 2,000,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 11th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million.

Ayamo C produce dealers is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 1,000,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 11th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 3,650,000 million.

Barongin youth leaders is indicated to have received Uganda shillings 3,200,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 16th March is Uganda shillings 8,000,000 million.

Lelakot youth leaders is indicated as having received a loan of Uganda shillings 6,000,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn on 16th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 12,800,000 million.

Lwala joint youth leaders is indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 4,000,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn from the bank on the 16th of March 2021 is Uganda shillings 7,800,000 million.

Opeta youth leaders is indicated to have received a loan of Uganda shillings 5,500,000 million. However, the loan amount withdrawn from the bank on 16th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 12,600,000 million.

Apac carpenters received Uganda shillings 3,500,000 while amount withdrawn as loan on their account as at 9th March 2021 is Uganda shillings 10,000,000 million.

Ayala Oyaa carpenters received Uganda shillings 5,000,000 million,  while the amount withdrawn as loan on their account as at 9th March 2021 is  Uganda 16,000,000 million.

More dirty dealings

The report also noted several discrepancies in loan recoveries. Whereas it had been indicated that Opeta parish local leaders had repaid Uganda shillings 3,000,000 million, these funds could not be traced in the bank accounts.

Apuru people with disabilities and Ayara PWDs are indicated to have paid back Uganda shillings 550,000 and Uganda shillings 400,000 respectively, but these amounts could not be traced in the bank statements provided.

Opeta tailoring was indicated to have returned Uganda shillings 2,313,000 million but these amounts could not be traced in the SACCO accounts.

Several incidences of extortion were raised by the associations. A one Okello Opio Alex was reported to have collected Uganda shillings 30,000 from different associations in order to supply them with passbooks. These passbooks were supposed to be given out freely to each association.

Opeta Welders association  chairperson indicated that their loans were disbursed by Okello Opio Alex, a  non-member at night and demanded for a kick back of Uganda shillings 100,000 from  each association member that was receiving funds.

It was claimed that the persons who received the funds were different from the intended beneficiaries.  Lwala youth leaders indicated that Uganda shillings 300,000 was cut off from their loan in the presence of the commercial officer, Emmanuel Okao.

Kole North salon operators’ vice chairperson indicated that all the SACCOs were asked to pay Uganda shillings 100,000 by Emmanuel Okao and a one Halima, an alleged representative  of the microfinance support centre which would then be used to bribe officials  at the microfinance support centre head offices in order to quicken the release  process of their funds.

A total of Uganda shillings 3,300,000 million was reported to have been raised. Halima who claimed to have been a representative of microfinance support centre (MFSC) and playing a key role in regional co-ordination of the Emyooga SACCOs was later on found to be an imposte.

Okwerodot market vendors association further reported that Uganda shillings 400,000 was cut off from their loan and retained for the commercial officer, a one Emmanuel Okao.

Several members of associations indicated having been called by a one Okello Opio Alex who informed them to arrange for a kick back for the commercial officer. Association members also reported that they were threatened that if they didn’t provide the kickbacks, they would not receive any Emyooga funds in the second round.

It was noticed from reports on the ground that the two district commercial officers, Okello Joseph and Emmanuel Okao actively interfered with the Legislators’ oversight activities by rallying the associations and SACCOs not to turn up by changing information that the MPs kept sending out.

For example, MP Acuti says, “Whereas we had informed them to notify the members of a  meeting with all SACCO leaders on the 16th of August 2021, they instead  informed them that the meeting had been cancelled and rescheduled to the  17th of August 2021. They further demobilized various associations not to turn up for our meetings.”

The chairperson of Kole North performing artists, Amina Geofrey indicated that the commercial officer requested for Uganda shillings 1,500,000 million as a kickback which they delivered to the district commercial officers’ office. They gave the funds to Emmanuel Okao and Joseph Okello.

In addition, Emmanuel Okao, the commercial officer asked for an additional Uganda shilling 1,000,000 million as a loan obtained through one of the members, Apio Molly, the Secretary of the SACCO.

The chairperson of the Kole North youth leaders SACCO, Emmanuel Acuti also indicated that the commercial officer, Emmanuel Okao asked for a kick back of Uganda shillings 2,000,000 million; Uganda shillings 1,500,000 million was given to him.

In Kole North Veteran’s SACCO, the chairperson, Opio Robert indicated that Uganda shillings 4,000,000 million was demanded as a kick back by Emmanuel Okao. However, he got annoyed after being given only Uganda shillings 2,000,000 million instead.

As a result, he refused to approve any further bank withdrawals to other associations in the SACCO, indicating that other SACCOs were giving more money yet they were  refusing to give more. The chairperson of Kole North tailors SACCO, Enon Scovia Awio indicated that a kickback of Uganda shillings 1,000,000 million was demanded by the commercial officer which they gave to a one Emmanuel Okao.

The report implicated the commercial officers Joseph Okello and Emmanuel Okao, respectively for gross negligence and incompetence for their inability to detect non compliance to the guidelines during review of the loan applications prior to issuance of recommendation letters for bank withdrawals.

Notably, having a man as the chairperson of the Kole North Women entrepreneurs SACCO and approval of loan amounts of Uganda shillings 5,000,000 million for associations with 5% savings of only Uganda shillings 250,000 were glaring abnormalities they should have detected.

The withdrawal of amounts of Uganda shillings 131,129,900 from the SACCO accounts which were not part of any loan application neither were they approved by the associations were an act of fraud, a conspiracy to defraud and theft of the SACCO funds.

The same actions in which they and the SACCO leaders purported to be withdrawing funds on behalf of the associations’ loan applications also be deemed to be obtaining money by false pretence and uttering false documents.

According to MP Dr Acuti, demanding for money from the SACCOS and associations by the commercial officers is treated as extortion from the public.

Recommendations

The two commercial officers, Joseph Okello and Emmanuel Okao should be  arrested and prosecution initiated against them in the courts of law and the  funds lost be recovered.

He further recommended that they be put under disciplinary action by the district service commission and tough measures taken against them as provided in the public service standing orders.

The RDC  who is the chairperson of the Emyooga task force should also explain and  make a statement to the police on how theft of funds and fraud took place  right under his watch yet he holds the key responsibility for monitoring  government programmes most especially the Emyooga programme.

According to the MP, Okello Joseph, the district commercial officer is currently held at Kole central police station while his deputy, Okao Emmanuel escaped from the meeting upon learning of plans to have him arrested and is still on the run.

The RDC hasn’t made any appearances to office and is claimed to have been transferred  to Madi-okollo district.


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