RUKUNGIRI, UGANDA: The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Senior Mobiliser in RUkungiri district, Ms Peace Rugambwa Twinamatsiko is in hot soup for failing to fulfil the promises made she made to the locals during the 2016 general elections.
Rugambwa is also the Chairperson of Boona Bagaigahare Nyekundire Group, an NRM activist group in the southwestern Uganda district.
According to locals in the districts of Rukungiri, Ntungamo, Kanungu, Kisoro, Rubanda, Kabale, and Rukiga, Ms Rugambwa during the 2016/17 campaigns mobilized them into groups under her Non-government organization (NGO), “Boona Bagaigahare Nyekundeire“ with a motive of steering development in their areas.
Ms Rugambwa is said to have obtained shs 12,000 from each individual as “registration fees” purportedly to register with the Sacco which she said at the time that it had full financial backing from the President.
“It’s now payback time. Either Rugambwa refunds our money or NRM will pay a huge price in the coming elections.” the angry locals told this website.
This money was picked from the elderly, underprivileged, widows, and youths in the several sub-counties including Bwambara and Bugangari, Rukungiri district.
DailyExpress has further learnt that after defrauding locals, Rugambwa through her representatives from all the Sacco members in the seven districts have since cut off ties with the locals who want their money refunded and the matter investigated.
In light of the events, some residents of Nyakanengo where Rugambwa picked over Shs 20m, said they would deal with her if she dares to visit their area.
“Peace Rugambwa should not dare to step in this area under the guise of mobilization unless she returns our money. The sick and old are grieving,” said a 67-year-old resident of the area.
Mr Michael Kwarikunda Mbareeba, from Rukiga District, called on the government to investigate the scam and have the culprits prosecuted.
“The locals were cheated in broad daylight and we cannot allow this to pass. If the locals cannot get what was promised to them, there must be effective communication so that they are brought on board. Since authorities were also involved, let them have this matter investigated,” Mr Mbareeba said.
When contacted to comment on the scandal, Rugambwa as a way of cleaning her name says the money collected from the locals was used for “registration” and “membership” fees.
“All the items I was giving out to the public like seedlings, mattresses, and other agricultural products are no longer coming, I even used some of my money to settle the situation by buying items like Mattresses, seedlings, and others, gave out until I ran bankrupt.” She added
According to Ms Rugambwa, she would continue to mobilize for her party NRM irrespective of the accusations of diddling the public.
“They think President Museveni gave me things to take to them which I have not got and I am even blocked from meeting the President to raise this concern”. Rugambwa noted.
In 2018, former State House comptroller, Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye commenced investigations into the operations of Boona Bageigahare Nyekundiire group. The group was founded by Peace Rugambwa.
An inquiry by the Office of the President said that an anti-poverty group operating in Rukungiri District is operating as a non-governmental organization and should not benefit from any form of government funding.
Boona Bagaigahare Nyekundire Group which was a subject of investigation by State House over alleged fraud after the group leader, Ms Peace Rugambwa, claimed to have spent about 1.9 billion shillings of her own money to mobilise NRM supporters in Rukungiri on behalf of the directive of President Museveni to fight poverty, which she wants him to refund.
However, after over a month of investigation, a five-member State House probe team led by Mr Francis Batinti on Wednesday presented the findings of the report, indicating that the group does not operate as a mobilization outfit but rather as an NGO since members pay a membership fee of 12,000 shillings.