Soroti, (UG): Residents of Kikinjaji Ward, Soroti East Division in Soroti City could not believe their eyes after realising that all the money sent to the Parish SACCO under President Museveni’s PDM poverty eradication program was allocated to parish leaders and their close family members, leaving none for the rest of the membership.
Soroti East Division Deputy Resident City Commission (D/RCC) Edrine Benesa was prompted to order the arrest of several leaders of the Kikinjaji PDM SACCO on Tuesday, 14th November following widespread outcries from the locals regarding the fraudulent allocation of the PDM money.
Okwaro John, the Chairperson of the SACCO, Isangal Bena, the Treasurer, Steven Okiror, the Chairperson of the loans vetting Committee, and Andrew Adaku are some of the leaders being investigated by Soroyi East Division Police on the borders of the Deputy RCC.
According to Mr Okello Geaorge William, the Chairperson of Kikinjaji Profuce Dealers, members were alarmed after realising that all the money disbursed for their SACCO had been shared by the leaders, with close family leaving the rest walking away empty-handed.
Isangal Bena, the treasurer allegedly allocated one million each to her 5 biological children and another two million between her and her husband. Just like the treasurer, Okwaro, the Chairperson shared a million for himself with his wife, son and daughter getting one each.
Loans Committee Chair, Adaku is also accused of self-allocating one million for himself and also securing a million for his wife, and registering his sister for the fund which he allegedly picked himself.
Okilor Steven is also said to have used his position as the Loans Vetting Committee Chairperson to get himself suitable for the money and subsequently gift the same to some close relatives.
LC 1 Chairperson demands tax on the money
In a rather surprising finding by the RCC’s investigations into the PDM mess, a Chairperson of a local council was found to have demanded a tax from all the recipients of the fund even though this is a revolving find they will have to pay back.
According to the residents, Mr Iikot Emannuel, the chairman of Kikinjaaji West Cell demanded that each member of his village who received the money was mandated to chop off twenty thousand shilling to the man who runs the village in a manner of “he who gives you leadership gives you a chance to eat.”
The revelations in Soroti have thrown President Museveni’s flagship poverty alleviation program under intense scrutiny with reports of misappropriation manifesting since the onset of its implementation.
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