Another One! Igara East MP Michael Mawanda Detained Over UGX 164 Billion War Veterans’ Fund Scandal

Another One! Igara East MP Michael Mawanda Detained Over UGX 164 Billion War Veterans’ Fund Scandal

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Igara East MP Michael Mawanda has been detained at Natete Police Station over allegations of mismanaging UGX 164 billion meant for war veterans. Mawanda faces charges of theft, corruption, and attempted fraud in connection with Buyaka Growers Cooperative Society.

Before his arrest, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had summoned Mawanda and Elgon County MP Nyasio Mudimi Wamakuyu regarding the alleged financial mismanagement of compensation funds designated for cooperatives. According to insiders, the summons were issued to Parliament on Monday afternoon.

A Parliament investigation, ordered by Speaker Anita Among on August 29, 2023, uncovered widespread corruption within cooperatives to which Mawanda was implicated in the West Mengo Growers Cooperative Society, which engaged JM Musisi and Co. Advocates to pursue a claim of UGX 14 billion from the Ministry of Trade, Industries, and Cooperatives.

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Despite not being a shareholder, Mawanda advised the SACCO to use the services of M/S Justin Mungoma and Co. Advocates. The Ministry released UGX 2 billion through this firm, but only UGX 50 million reached the intended beneficiaries.

West Mengo Growers Cooperative Society accountant Muusa Bagala testified that upon learning of the UGX 2 billion release, he approached Mawanda, who suggested a UGX 50 million token for SACCO leaders. This money was later received from the law firm at KCB Bank in Kampala.

“When we asked Hon Mawanda about the compensation, he suggested a Shs 50m token to the SACCO’s leaders,” Bagala noted.

It is worth noting that in December 2023, State Minister for Trade Harriet Ntababazi informed Parliament’s Committee on Trade and Tourism that around 30 legislators were under criminal investigation for their involvement in embezzling UGX 164 billion, including MPs from the opposition.

This development follows last week’s arrest and remanding of three legislators to Luzira prison on corruption charges.

Yusuf Mutembuli of Bunyole East, deputy chairperson of the Legal Committee of Parliament, Cissy Namujju of Lwengo District, and Paul Akamba were accused of soliciting money from the Chairperson of Uganda Human Rights Commission, Mariam Wangadya, by demanding 20% of the anticipated enhanced budget for the UHRC for the financial years 2024-2026.

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