Bugisu Union in fresh Sh 400M Scandal

The former management of the embattled Bugisu Cooperative Union –BCU has been implicated in yet another report for allegedly misappropriating about 400 million shillings.

Bugisu Cooperative Union –BCU was once a famous farmers union until financial woes crippled in.
Bugisu Cooperative Union –BCU was once a famous farmers union until financial woes crippled in.

A fresh audit report indicates that between August 2003 and May 2004, the then BCU board members made cheque payments to themselves amounting to 390 million shillings yet there were no documents to support this payment.

The 2013 audit report prepared by the Kampala based Felbright & Co Public Accountants also accused the previous board of leading the union at the time the liabilities were more than the Assets by about 427 million shillings.

The board in question was led by the chairman, Stephen Wakyaya, vice chairman John Wamulugwa and the general manager, Sam Wamutu.

In a telephone interview with RED Pepper Online, however, former chairman Stephen Wakyaya rubbishes the audit report. He instead accused the auditors of being biased arguing that they never consulted the former board managers during their audit work.

Wakyaya claims they ended their term with very clean hands before handing over the management of BCU to a new team led by Nathan Nandala Mafabi, who is now the Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

BCU has since been rocked by financial scandals, something that prompted government to forcefully take over its management in February 2010 after dissolving the board led by Mafabi.

Government immediately instituted a probe committed to investigate the Nandala board team amidst allegations of embezzlement of funds, abuse of office and misuse of the union’s property.

However, in January 2011, just about a year after government took over BCU it was confirmed that a total of 600 million shillings was dubiously withdrawn from BCU accounts. This came just hours after Nandala Mafabi had just won a case against government over his suspension as chairperson of BCU board.

The money was part of the 2.5 billion shillings that BCU had in its account as working capital.  It was allegedly withdrawn by the temporal board that government had setup to oversee the union affairs following the suspension of the Nandala led board.

Early this month government suspended the meeting in which the investigation report was to be issued and an election for the chairperson of the board held. Government did not give reason for suspending the election.

Currently, it’s all quiet at the once busy BCU headquarters in Doko, Industrial Division in Mbale Municipality because of the financial scandals that crippled the once famous farmers union.

2 thoughts on “Bugisu Union in fresh Sh 400M Scandal

  1. They removed Hon Mafabi, in order for them steal the Union money!
    This govt., should avoid mixing politics in development issues, give people a chance to run their Unions!

    1. It is quite unfortunate for BCU to have gone this way. Nandala had put it right and it has been sunk again!!! NRM couldnt allow BCU to prove them wrong, that Co-Operatives actually are the best for the rural and small farmers.

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