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Uganda: Defence Committee to examine Police Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) bank accounts

The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs will examine different bank accounts operated by Police Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO), Exodus.

This arises from the observation that the Police Sacco that was founded in 2007 has been opening and operating new bank accounts each time a new board is constituted without proper procedures and accountability.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Rosemary Nyakikongoro directed that all the previous Exodus Sacco Board leadership present full details of bank accounts that they operated during their tenure including their financial standings at the time of handover.
"We need the former board leaders of Exodus to come back and specify on the issues of bank accounts. We shall allow you to consult and tell us which board had which accounts and what was handed over," Nyakikongoro said.

This was during a committee meeting with former board members of Exodus Sacco from 2007 to 2019 on Wednesday, 15 March 2023.

The retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), Asan Kasingye who was chairperson of the interim committee of Exodus Sacco from 2007 to 2012, said during his tenure, they operated three bank accounts; two in Stanbic Bank as current and saving accounts, while the other was a fixed account in the then Barclays Bank (now Absa) which had a fixed deposit of Shs1 billion.

Retired Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP), Laban Muhabwe who took over from Kasingye said his board closed some of the bank accounts they inherited from their predecessors and subsequently, opened up new ones to smoothen administrative operations.
"We could not proceed with the account in Barclays Bank because the bank was not well distributed in the country and accessibility was difficult. That is why we opened other accounts in Centenary, Stanbic Bank and others," Muhabwe said adding that they also opened and made fixed deposits in FINCA, Post Bank, Dfcu and Global Trust Bank which later closed.

Senior Commissioner of Police (SP), Henry Kalulu who succeeded Muhabwe in 2015 said his board inherited the Post Bank account with a deposit of Shs37.8 million, Centenary Bank with Shs873 million while FINCA had Shs185.4 million and another fixed deposit as of 30 June 2015 of Shs1.6 billion in the same bank.

"While handing over to the current board in 2019, I handed over a Centenary Bank account with Shs93.1 million, Dfcu account had Shs1 million, Post Bank had Shs9.2 million while Orient Bank was dormant with no money," Kalulu said.

He said his regime did not believe in depositing money in fixed accounts to accumulate interest but rather preferred to invest in the members through loans.

The MPs wondered why the previous boards were opening different bank accounts saying it could have been a pathway for corruption and mismanagement of police officers' savings.
"The interim board chaired by Kasingye had two to three accounts which he handed over to Laban [Muhabwe]'s board who also opened other accounts. We also need to know all the accounts that Kalulu found and opened. This is a suspected area where savers' money disappeared," Hon Donozio Mugabe (NRM, Ruhinda South) said.

It was observed that during Muhabwe's tenure, the Shs1 billion fixed in Barclays Bank at 20 per cent interest per annum by Kasingye's board was withdrawn and deposited in another fixed account in Centenary Bank at 17 per cent interest rate.
"We need to investigate why every board was changing bank accounts. Why would you leave a bank offering 20 per cent interest and settle for one offering 17 per cent?" Butiru County Member of Parliament, Hon. Godfrey Wakooli said.

Nyakikongoro said the committee will again interface with the former board leaders of Police Exodus Sacco in order to probe further these bank accounts.

Exodus Sacco also had another joint account with crime preventers owned Mwangaza Sacco.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.
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