Members of the cooperative are pushing for the prosecution of David Lukwata, accusing him of financial loss through alleged collusion and other maladministration practices. Lukwata’s problems stem from an external audit conducted by Dickson Associate Auditors, which unearthed irregularities in the management of the cooperative’s finances.
The Manager of Kibinge Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Society in
Bukomansimbi District is on the spot for alleged misappropriation of
830 Million Shillings.
Members of the cooperative are pushing for the prosecution of David
Lukwata, accusing him of financial loss through alleged collusion and other maladministration
Lukwata’s problems stem from an external audit conducted by
Dickson Associate Auditors, which unearthed irregularities in the management of
the cooperative’s finances.
According to the audit report the cooperative society has in the
last two years suffered a financial loss of 830 Million Shillings, which went
to unguaranteed loans to staff, many of whom were found to be relatives to the
The other implicated staff in the report is Mary Nalukwata the
Production Manager, Grace Nakachwa the Accountant, and Simon Ssekagigo the Field
Operations Manager among others.
The report also indicates that part of the funds was lost to
informal expenditures that are executed outside the cooperative’s approved work
plan and budget framework. The audit further accuses Lukwata of usurping
the powers of the board through approving loans to members with minimal
assessments of their ability to repay them and these have eventually been defaulting
without a trace.
Sowedi Sserwadda, the Cooperative’s Board Chairperson says besides
causing suspension of the people implicated in the fraud, they have also
preferred to go to courts of law to allow them to recover lost money by
attaching their properties.
According to Sserwadda, the members have repeatedly raised
concerns about Lukwata’s management but he remained reluctant of correcting the
messes, which makes him responsible for the losses.
Godfrey Kikulwe, one of the affected farmers says they need to take tough
actions against the implicated officials if they are to save the cooperative
society from collapse. He argues that they cannot afford to lose their money
and have their efforts wasted yet they can pursue the persons who are implicated
in the misappropriation.
But George Bakunda, the Bukomansimbi Resident District Commissioner
indicates that they are seeking direct interventions from the Ministry of Trade,
Industry, and Cooperatives.
“The Registrar of Cooperatives has taken up the matter and
we are optimistic that the problem will be solved, and the cooperative society
will be saved from collapse,” he says.
In the meantime, Lukwata has agreed to relinquish his
responsibility at the cooperative society but has declined to comment about the
details of the audit report and the said financial loss.