The Anti-corruption Unit has named Agago North county MP, Prof Ogenga Latigo together with other Board members of Agaru Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO) in Agago district in an ongoing corruption investigation over allegations of mismanagement of the SACCO’s funds.
The Anti-corruption Unit said on Monday that it had received information relating to alleged corruption by some of the Board Members of the SACCO.
“This morning, we are carrying out an operation in Agago district. Following information we received related to corruption at Agaru SACCO in Agago district,” the Unit headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema wrote on Twittter.
On Monday, Lt Col Nakalema and other investigators held a meeting with members of the SACCO from Agago, Kitgum and Pader to listen to their concerns.
The Unit is probing into allegations of mismanagement and corruption that resulted into members failing to access their savings totaling to Shs 1bn.
Agaru SACCO which had capital to a tune of Shs 30 billion was operating in Agago, Pader and Kitgum until it was closed two years ago by the current Board, according to the Anti-corruption Unit.
The Unit says 190 members in the SACCO have reported that they have failed to access their savings amounting to Shs 1bn and that this has resulted into death of family members, school dropouts, breakages in marriage, societal strife among others.
Among those being investigated are the Board members led by the Chairperson, James Onying Penywii as well as the Supervision Committee which consists of Okoda Harry, Moro Francis and Otto Margaret.
Officials will also probe the Chief Administrative Officers and Resident District Commissioners of Agago, Kitgum and Pader districts.
The others are; lawyer of the SACCO, Ladwar Walter Onekalit, Commercial Officers of Agago, Kitgum and Pader, the Commissioner Cooperatives in the Ministry of Trade and all branch managers.
According to the probe Unit, the Supervisory Committee of the SACCO indicated that sums of money have been borrowed by the Directors of the SACCO and there is no evidence of repayment.
Those named as having borrowed the said monies include former Leader of Opposition in Parliament also Agago north county MP, Prof Ogenga Latigo (Shs 63m). Others are one Opio Ogal Moses (Shs 74m) and the Board Chairman, Onying James Penywi (Shs 200m).
“We decided to intervene in the matter given the fact that there is money solicited from the public (members) involved and also because some financial support has extended to the SACCO by government,” the Unit said on Monday.
The Unit alleges that there has been collusion between the Board Chairman, Onying and Central Bank officials in respect to purchase of treasury bills and with Ministry of Trade officials in respect to extension of term limits of the current Board.
The Unit adds that whereas the Board Chairman alleges that he deposited Shs 100m on January 31, no such record appears in the Bank Statement.
He is also accused of holding the Office of the Board chairperson illegally as his term expired.
He’s further accused of illegally possessing (privately for personal business) items belonging to the SACCO. These include 10 motorcycles, 2 tractors, a lorry and other properties.
Lawyer Ladwa Okidi Walter is also faulted for allegedly using the SACCO funds for his 2016 political campaign.
Okidi is linked to Bilaforce Auctioneers & Bailiffs Associates, a law firm which was contacted to collect non-performing loans. The firm however faces allegations of collecting more than tripple the loan amounts and those who have failed are sent to Patongo prisons.