The leaders of a farmers’ savings group in Ntungamo district find themselves facing serious charges of embezzling UGX 130.8 million from the SACCO. The accused chairperson, Francis Kamugisha, was formally charged at the Anti-Corruption Court in Nakasero, Kampala. The charges against him include two offences of embezzlement and conspiracy to defraud the Nyakyera Farmers’ Co-operative Savings and Credit Society Limited.
Anti-Corruption Court Grade One Magistrate Esther Asiimwe granted Kamugisha a cash bail of sh6 million following his arraignment. However, this legal action extends to other individuals, with the SACCO’s general manager, Asaph Nuwabiine, and treasurer, Fred Tusiime, also facing similar charges alongside Kamugisha.
The alleged embezzlement is said to have occurred between November 2017 and January 2018 in Ntungamo district when the accused individuals are believed to have embezzled UGX 61.4 million. This amount was purportedly received into the account of the Nyakyera SACCO. In a separate count of conspiracy to defraud, the prosecution contends that the accused individuals conspired to defraud the SACCO of UGX 69.4 million.
As for Asaph Nuwabiine, he faces an additional charge of embezzling sh8 million from the SACCO. The prosecution claims that on July 4, 2017, in his capacity as the general manager, Nuwabiine embezzled funds that were received in the Nyakyera account. It’s important to note that all the accused parties have denied the charges brought against them.
The legal implications of these charges are substantial. Under Section 11(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2009, any individual found guilty of the offense of abuse of office could face a sentence of up to seven years in jail or a fine not exceeding UGX 2.9 million, or both. Furthermore, Section 46 of the Anti-Corruption Act stipulates that those found guilty of embezzlement could be subject to imprisonment for up to 14 years, a fine of UGX 6.7 million, or both.