Microfinance Support Centre fails to account for Shs3.4b 

Mr Haruna Kasolo, the State minister for Microfinance, (centre) during the launch of Emyooga programme at City Hall, Kampala last year. PHOTO | ABUBAKER LUBOWA

The Microfinance Support Centre, had by June 2020, failed to account for Shs3.4b, a year and half after the money had been disbursed to different persons to promote government programmes, according to the Auditor General. 

The money, which is highlighted in the Auditor General’s report for the period ended June 2020, was advanced to individuals outside Microfinance Support Centre to mobilise, especially for programmes related to Saving Credit and Cooperative Organisations (Saccos). 

“Shs3.4b was advanced externally as mobilisation whose accountability was yet to be received one and half years after the close of the financial year,” Auditor General John Muwanga said in the report, noting that the money had been advanced to persons who operate outside the Micro Finance Support Centre to advocate for government programmes, among them Saccos.

It is was not immediately clear which individuals or group of persons the money was advanced to. 

However, yesterday Mr Simon Peter Rukorera, the Microfinance Support Centre finance manager, said that because they deal with external stakeholders, who engage in different government programmes, it is difficult to obtain accountability records on time.  

“At the time the Auditor General [complied the report], not all funds had been accounted for. But we have engaged all stakeholders and we have [obtained] all accountabilities,” he said.

The Microfinance Support Centre has been active throughout and before the campaigns in which government officials, including Microfinance State Minister Haruna Kasolo, had been promoting poverty-related programmes, key among them Emyooga.

Emyooga, which in the Runyankole dialect means specialised groups, is a Presidential initiative that seeks to enhance wealth and job creation.

The Microfinance Support Centre has been cited in a number of accountability challenges some of which have resulted in indictment or imprisonment of members of top management. 

In September last year, the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala charged and remanded three top officials from the Microfinance Support Centre over embezzlement of Shs10b that had been donated to a teachers’ Sacco by President Museveni.

Charged  

Last year, three officials including Mr John Peter Mujuni, the Microfinance Support Centre executive director, Mr John Mwebembezi, the head of finance and administration and Ms Julia Birungi, an assistant credits officer were charged over corruption. 

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