22 April 2019

Uganda: IGG Declines to Probe BCU Leadership Over Corruption

Mbale — The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Irene Mulyagonja has declined to open up investigations into allegations of corruption against the leadership of Bugisu Cooperative Union (BCU) led by Budadiri West legislator, Nathan Nandala Mafabi.

The IGG says such issues are criminal in nature and should be handled by courts of law.

The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, had earlier asked the IGG to investigate BCU leadership after BCU petitioners wrote to her, accusing Mr Nandala and his leadership of embezzlement of funds worth Shs1.129 billion, which the government allegedly compensated the Union in 2015.

But the IGG in her letter dated April 1, 2019, rejected the request, saying the issues being raised by the BCU petitioners can be handled by courts of law.

"The allegations raised in this petition are largely focused on misappropriation and mismanagement of the society's funds and would therefore fall under section 73 (15) and a court of law is clothed with the jurisdiction to handle such complaints," the letter reads in part.

The letter further reads, "In my view of the above, the Inspectorate of Government will not handle the petition in accordance with section 19 (2) of the Inspectorate of Government Act."

When contacted, Ms Mulyagonja confirmed that the Inspectorate cannot institute an investigation against the Union leadership.

"The law is clear and we have to follow it. Such disputes should go to court," Ms Mulyagonja, said.

The BCU spokesperson, Mr David Mafabi, told Daily Monitor that the lead petitioner, Mr John Wamulugwa, is not a member of the Union and has no right to petition the IGG.

"Mr Wamulugwa's Nagawoya cooperative society is not a member of BCU and therefore, he has no legal ground to base on and petition," he said.

However, Mr Wamulugwa, the lead petitioner, said he is not contented with the IGG's decision.

"It's unfortunate that the IGG has completely refused to accord us a hearing so as to explain the various corruption issues," he said.

Background

In 2010, government suspended the BCU board on allegations that it had falsified the books of accounts. It then appointed a committee to investigate the matter between 2003 and 2010, which failed to release a report.

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