How Mps Connived with Law Firms to Defraud Cooperatives’ Compensation Money

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In a shocking revelation, the report released by the sectoral committee on Tourism, Trade, and Industry highlights the involvement of Members of Parliament, lawyers, and  Trade ministry officials in defrauding cooperative unions of a staggering 164 billion shillings.

During the investigation, the committee discovered that Odongo Otto and Company Advocates, imposed on the East Acholi cooperatives by Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) officials, mishandled the funds. Allen Acheng, the chairperson of the union, testified that the law firm was assigned to the union based on patronage and forced them into accepting a 30% retainer fee.

Revelations from Buyaka Growers’ Cooperative Society implicated Kirya Co. & Advocates, recommended by Leonard Kavunduria, a top MTIC official. Testimony revealed that the law firm had paid substantial amounts to several individuals, including MP Ignatius Mudimi Nyasio Wamakuyu, who allegedly received UGX 1,050,000,000.

Michael Mawanda, the MP for Igara East County, played a pivotal role in directing the cooperative union towards M/S Justin Mungoma and Co. Advocates. Despite the agreement with the law firm, it was later discovered that Mawanda conspired with them to defraud the cooperative unions.

The committee also found irregularities in West Mengo Growers, the oldest cooperative in the country, where a claim for UGX 47,950,000,000 was made. However, upon verification, only 14,861,000,000 shillings were deemed valid for disbursement.

These revelations come after a joint investigation conducted by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit and the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), prompting the intervention of Parliament. The Speaker of Parliament instructed the sectoral committee to probe the matter further.

As this scandal unfolds, there is a growing demand for accountability and justice on behalf of the affected cooperative unions. The ramifications of this embezzlement will likely have far-reaching consequences for those involved and should serve as a wake-up call for implementing robust measures to prevent such corruption in the future.

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