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Kibinge Coffee Cooperative Members Sue Manager over Loss of UGX 830M

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 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.

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 manager.

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.      

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