Group chairperson arrested over theft of Emyooga funds
todayAugust 5, 2021
By Judith Atizoyo
Authorities in Arua district have arrested the chairperson of Vurra constituency veteran’s EMYOOGA SACCO over embezzling part of group funds. 45 year old Samuel Abiyo was nabbed after he allegedly withdrew 29.5 million shillings belonging to the veteran’s EMYOOGA SACCO and ploughed the money in his own personal business without informing members of the group. He was arrested in the office of the Arua Resident district commissioner RDC as he went to fix a date for a meeting for their SACCO group. Festus Ayikobua, the RDC Arua revealed that after thorough intense interrogation, the suspect opened up to the fact that he had kept the 20 million shillings which is part of the money at his home. By press time the money was brought to the office of the RDC, but the 9.5 million shillings was already invested in his private business. “Almost after one hour with him, that’s when he told us that 20 million is there but the other part has already been spent. But he has some assets to sell and he is going to provide the money after selling some of his belongings”, he said. It’s alleged that the suspect has been in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the past days and he has been in possession of all the necessary documents of the group. A bank statement from Post bank indicates that the money was withdrawn on 7th June this year. According to Charles Mutebi, the adviser of the group, the suspect tricked 4 of the members to sign a cheque which did not have any figure and claimed the check was yet to mature. The West Nile regional coordinator for EMYOOGA program Ezama Ham Muzamil condemns the act. “Injecting the money for his personal business? That’s not how it’s supposed to be done. Who has even done his assessment? But the suspect Samuel Abiyo says he has been using part of the money to deal in goat business “To be sincere the 9.5 million has been used in my goat business. But I told the other people including the Commercial officer that I will provide the money but they should give me time”, he said. Arua district commercial officer John Ezuma says the group now needs a new leadership and it might take some time for the group to access the recovered money. A year since the commencement of the Presidential Initiative on Wealth Creation dubbed Emyooga; the initiative has so far disbursed 200 billion shillings to SACCOs for online disbursement to the parish-based group.
COVER PHOTO: The suspect Samuel Abiyo handing over the 20 million shs to Arua RDC Festus Ayikobua. Photo by Judith Atizoyo.