Arrested Lawmakers Embroiled in Cooperative Compensation Corruption Scandal

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The Igara East Member of Parliament, Michael Mawanda Maranga, has found himself at the centre of the war loss compensation funds paid to cooperatives following reports of financial mismanagement and connivance with other lawmakers who are alleged to have taken a lion’s share of the said funds.

Mawanda’s involvement in the Cooperatives Corruption Scandal was first revealed by Explorer in December 2023, in an article that details how Mawanda played a pivotal role in directing unions towards using certain lawyers who he connived with to defraud the cooperatives.

According to sources, Mawanda’s troubles stem from his and other lawmakers’ alleged involvement with the West Mengo Growers Cooperative Society, where it is claimed that they skillfully engaged the services of M/S Justin Mungoma and Co. Advocates to claim over UGX 14 billion from the Ministry of Trade in compensation for losses suffered by members during Uganda’s past civil war.

“The case is likely to draw intense scrutiny and raise questions about the accountability and integrity of elected officials tasked with safeguarding public funds,” the sources said.

The saga unfolded on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, when Mawanda appeared at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) headquarters in Kibuli, where he was grilled by detectives over his alleged involvement in the matter.

According to sources, at around 6.30 p.m. on June 19, 2024, Mawanda was arrested and escorted by heavily armed counter-terrorism personnel in a police van to Nateete Police Station, where he was detained.

Mawanda was summoned alongside his counterpart from Elgon region, Nyasio Mudimi Wamakuyu, as both individuals were implicated in the scandal, although details of the interrogation remain shadowy.

However, an article published by this publication that details the fraud states that Wamakuyu received Ugx 1,050,000,000 for his participation in the fraud.

Political experts noted that these latest developments have sent shockwaves through the political landscape as the public grapples with the notion of a serving lawmaker being embroiled in such a high-profile financial scandal.

“This scandal serves as a stark reminder of the need for greater transparency and robust measures to ensure the proper management of public resources, particularly in the context of compensation for war-affected communities,” sources added.

This latest development follows the previous arrests of other lawmakers, Yusuf Mutembuli (Bunyole East MP), Paul Akamba (Busiki County), and Cissy Namujju (Lwengo District woman), who were on Monday, June 17, 2024, committed to the high court for trial after the director of public prosecutions (DPP) said police had concluded their investigations into the case.

Mawanda is set to appear in court on June 20 2024 at 2:00 pm.

For details of how this case has evolved, read How Mps Connived with Law Firms to Defraud Cooperatives’ Compensation Money and Scandal: Ministry of Trade Officials Connive With Law Firms to Steal More Than 20 Billion Meant to Compensate Cooperatives

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