Home Investigation Luweero’s PDM Funds Under Scrutiny: Police Probe Embezzlement Scandal

Luweero’s PDM Funds Under Scrutiny: Police Probe Embezzlement Scandal

luweeros pdm funds under scrutiny police probe embezzlement scandal
luweeros pdm funds under scrutiny police probe embezzlement scandal

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The Luweero Resident District Commissioner has instructed the Police to conduct a thorough investigation into the District Commercial office amid allegations of embezzlement of funds earmarked for the Parish Development Model (PDM) program. The scandal involves the withdrawal of 41 million shillings from the accounts of various PDM Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs), with the funds allegedly paid to unidentified beneficiaries under the guise of the group leaders.

The affected PDM SACCOs, including Migadde Parish SACCO and Buyego PDM SACCO, are reeling from losses of 13 million and 15 million shillings, respectively. Additional PDM SACCOs in Butuntumula sub-county, namely Kakinzi, Kalwanga, Kyawangabi, and Bukammbagga, collectively lost 13 million shillings to the purported embezzlement scheme.

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Richard Bwabye, the Luwero Resident District Commissioner, disclosed that the irregularities came to light when vigilant PDM SACCO executive committee leaders noticed discrepancies in their account balances. Upon requesting bank statements, they discovered unauthorized payments to unknown individuals, allegedly sanctioned by the District Commercial office.

Bwabye asserted that the SACCO leaders petitioned his office, prompting him to enlist the Police to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice. Preliminary findings indicate that an unnamed officer at the District Commercial office fabricated a fake list of intended beneficiaries, subsequently approving transactions through different SACCOs to siphon the funds.

The investigation has expanded to Luwero sub-county, Zirobwe, and Busiika town councils, where similar tactics were employed to misappropriate PDM funds from SACCO accounts.

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John Ojokuna, the Luwero District Police Commander, confirmed the initiation of a criminal investigation. Statements have been recorded from PDM SACCO leaders, implicating a commercial officer in the embezzlement scheme. However, the officer in question is currently at large, prompting a police manhunt to ascertain the whereabouts of the misappropriated funds.

Innocent Asaba, the Luwero District Chief Administrative Officer, remains unavailable for comment on the ongoing investigation. It has been reported that, in response to complaints against the commercial officer, Asaba ordered the officer’s transfer to Zirobwe town council. However, the officer has yet to report to the new assignment.

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The implicated commercial officer faces not only accusations of embezzlement but also allegations of soliciting kickbacks from parish chiefs to expedite loan applications for approved beneficiaries.

The unfolding scandal threatens the success of the Parish Development Model in Luwero district, which received 10.8 billion shillings from the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development for the implementation of the program. This marks another instance of financial malfeasance within the PDM initiative, following the arrest of two leaders from Kyetume Parish Development Model SACCO last year for allegedly misappropriating funds.