Kazibwe accused of embezzling Shs58 million from Foundation
Posted Thursday, January 31 2013 at 02:00
‘Bad borrower’. It is alleged that the ex-vice president withdrew the money but did not refund it.
Former vice-president and now Presidential Adviser on Micro Finance, Dr Wandira Kazibwe, has been accused by Busoga residents of abuse of public funds.
Dr Kazibwe is alleged to have withdrawn Shs58 million on March 27, 2012, but did not refund the money to S’HE Foundation, a micro finance institution.
S’HE Foundation was launched by Dr Kazibwe in Busoga in February 2011 during the presidential and parliamentary campaigns to handle Shs5 billion that the government, through the Micro Finance Support Centre, which she was heading at the time, had reportedly offered to help fight poverty in the region by way of giving soft loans to residents.
State House reportedly gave Shs182 million to the Foundation to give soft loans to residents.
A copy of a bank statement that the Daily Monitor has seen indicates that the former vice-president and her relative, Ms Juliet Wandira, withdrew the money from Bank of Baroda Railways Branch in Kampala just four days after it had been banked.
The withdrawal was discovered after an audit carried out prior to a planned handover of office from Mr Richard Musana, who had been doubling as Regional Coordinator and Credit Officer, to a new person.
Mr Musana told the Daily Monitor that when she informed Dr Kazibwe that she had to explain herself on the withdrawals and delayed access to the soft loans by residents, she told him to leave matters to her, adding that she knew what she was doing.
“I have been the credit officer as well as the regional coordinator whom these people have been coming to for loans, but whenever I told Dr Kazibwe to act, she told me that I did not need to order her around,” Mr Musana said.
He added that he heard Dr Kazibwe announcing on a local radio that another person had been appointed as a credit officer, which prompted the pre-handover audit.
When contacted, Dr Kazibwe referred us to her aide, Mr Fred Kayongo, who claimed that the former vice-president was aware of the problems which he attributed to machinations aimed at frustrating the work of the Foundation.
“I am Fred Kayongo. I am Dr Kazibwe’s aide and I am speaking on her behalf. My boss is fully aware of it [the matter] and she knows who is antagonising the programme, but she will get back to you as soon as possible,” he said at the weekend, but by press time, Dr Kazibwe had not yet got back to us.
She is the chair of the Foundation.