By Ronaldo N Kalangi
Rage and bitterness is what can ably explain the current situation in Police circles after the Inspector General of Police (IGG) Martins Okoth Ochola halted members of the Police force from accessing loans and savings from the Force’s only SACCO,Exodus SACCO until a forensic report is given on how funds have been handled.
Ochola took the decision to stop accessing these services from SACCO by officers through the force’s advisory council- Police Advisory Council (PAC) last week.
According to sources within police, Ochola took the decision to order for an Audit report after getting atip that the SACCO could have lost over UGX 5Billion during the reign of Gen.Kale Kayihura, his predecessor. “Boss wants to know how this money was being handled first before he can do anything” anside source intimated.
Exodus Cooperative Savings and Credit Society has been one of the fastest growing SACCOs in the country with more than 40000 members. The least paid police man has been contributing Shs 30,000 monthly as part of their savings or collateral security to get a loan.
When the money accumulated, they went into construction of mortgage houses for their members and provision of medical insurance of Shs 50000 per annum. This is where alot of money from members’ savings accounts are suspected to have been withdrawn during Kayihura’s time in disguise of doing Development projects for members.
However, some of the police officers we talked to expressed dismay on IGP’s decision to stop them from withdrawing their loans and yet the Sacco was still chopping some percentage from their salaries. ‘‘We are struggling with school fees, we don’t see the reason why we can’t access our savings yet they are still chopping us. An audit doesn’t mean that the SACCO operations should not continue working”, a bitter cop fumed.
But when our reporter went to Police Head Quarters in Naguru where Sacco offices are to verify the information, he found a notice reading; ‘Offices closed till further Notice’. We couldn’t verify how the deductions are being made from their accounts with the office not in operation.
When contacted for a comment, Deputy Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango said that he was going to consult his seniors to know the current situation and operations of the Sacco.
”I don’t have well-vanished information with the works of Exodus, may be I need to first talk to Chairman in order to get correct information. But in case of anything, these police officers who are complaining should be patient”, he said.
Efforts to speak to Exodus Sacco Boss Asp Kalulu were futile as his well known phone was off.