Kabale Journalists’ Emyooga Sacco Chairman arrested

By APN Reporter


Moses Henry Tahoreraho, the chairperson for Mwanjari Journalists Emyooga Association in Southern Division, Kabale Municipality is in trouble for alleged abuse of office.

Tahoreraho, also the Kigezi region Coordinator for Team Thorough, a pressure group attached to National Resistance Movement (NRM) party who is currently being held at Kabale Central Police station was arrested by police on Friday morning on orders of Darius Nandinda, Kabale Resident District Commissioner. Nandinda says that his prompt to order for Tahoreraho’s arrest came after his office received over 15 complaints from Association members accusing him of failure to approve the release of their loans despite meeting all requirements.

The association has 80 members and each member pays savings between shillings 5,000-20,000.

Nandinda says that among complaints his office received from members, Tahoreraho had put terms and conditions of each shilling 20,000 nonrefundable fees to be registered as a member but without issuing any receipt to prove payment.   Nandinda also says that Tahoreraho has been ordering members to have saved 30 percent of the amount of the loan they want to obtain from the association.

He also says that Tahoreraho has been charging shillings 20,000 without a receipt for each member who requests arguing that it is for inspecting the security assets.

 Chris Turyomurugyendo, one of the complaints from Kitumba sub-county told apearlnews.com that  three months back ,He applied for shillings 700,000 loan after paying a monthly saving of shillings 170,000 shillings.

Turyomurugyendo however says that Tahoreraho kept on dodging him. Despite having all necessary requirements.  Turyomurugyendo says that when he got annoyed, he demanded refund of his savings to quit the association but Tahoreraho bounced him away. Turyomuhugyendo says that it is when he resorted to lodging complaints before the office of the Resident District Commissioner for help.

Nathan Byaruhanga and Agness Komuhangi, other affected members say that Tahoreraho refused to give them loans despite having saved shillings 80,000 and 350,000 shillings respectively five months back. They also explain that Tahoreraho declined to refund them their savings so that they cease to be members of the association. They also say that Tahoreraho had in the first convinced them to join the Saccoof journalists since they are good listeners.

But in his defense, Tahoreraho argues that the complaining members are just impatient and did not follow clear procedures to acquire loans. He however declined to reveal procedures they were supposed to follow.

This is the first Emyooga Sacco journalists’ leader to be arrested over Sacco money. In May this year, Eliab Niwagaba, a radio presenter at Kinkizi FM radio, and also the chairperson of Kinkiizi West Constituency Journalists Cooperative Savings and Credit Union in Kanungu district and his treasurer Ausi Senyunja was arrested for failure to account for shillings 13 million.

Niwagaba connived with Senyunja, a mobile money dealer in Kihihi town council and withdrew all the 30 million shillings from the association’s bank account using mobile banking technology. After withdrawing the money, Niwagaba shifted from Kihihi where he was residing, and started a shop in Bugangari trading center, Bugangari cub county, Rukungiri district.  Niwagaba and Senyunja went ahead and withdrew shillings 480,000 members’ savings. Niwagaba had recruited Senyunja is a journalist and yet he is well known mobile money dealer.

The Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation program, commonly known as Emyooga targets SACCO’s formed in specialized fields that need capital to boost their incomes.

Each saving and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) is given 30 million shillings as seed capital while districts receive 570 million shillings to support the SACCOs.   The targeted groups include Journalists, bodaboda cyclists, women enterprises, carpenters, tailors, mechanics, blacksmithing, carpentry, mechanics, pottery, performing artists, and fishermen among others.