Parliament’s Defense Committee has on Thursday pressed Police for an explanation on the financial status of the Force’s Exodus SACCO after numerous queries were raised on its mode of operation.
Legislators were irked after their Ruhinda County counterpart Donozio Kahonda revealed that there was no schedule detailing the Shs 4 Billion Police owes to the Micro-Finance institution.
When Uganda Police Force’s (UPF) Under Secretary Aggrey Wunyi was asked, he told MPs that it is a component of the total arrears they amassed during the ongoing 2020/21 Financial Year.
“As at 31st December, Police arrears totaled 82.7 Billion in the areas of water, electricity, rent, fleet management, medical expenses, court awards and compensations, construction and civil maintenance, food and firewood, consumables, uniforms, fuel, Lubricants and feeding in Operations,” Wunyi replied.
However, this even drew an angrier reaction from MPs after they failed to trace any documentation to this effect and further infuriated the Committee’s Chairperson Doreen Amule.
“You see this is why we really need that column because this is now misleading,” Amule reacted.
Sensing trouble, Wunyi caved in and told legislators, in verbatim steps Police had taken to clear this debt.
“We have been clearing exodus in two years now, the verified arrears for exodus were 14 billion and we have paid ten leaving an outstanding balance of 4 billion which we are supposed to clear in the next financial year,” Wunyi intimated.
However, before he could conclude, Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya asked him to clarify on allegations that Police Officers who wish to withdraw their savings are instead forced to apply for loans.
Olanya added that some junior officers are being forced to save beyond their means.
Commenting on this matter, Exodus Sacco Chairperson Wilson Omoding refuted these claims.
“The minimum saving is Shs 10,000 or 20,000 and 50,000 for officers. I know we faced a challenge of leadership in the Sacco but for now it’s a different story,” Omoding clarified.
As of June 22, 2020; the SACCO had disbursed loans worth Shs 3,335,570,000 to 686 members according to a UPF Press release.
The Force disbursed Shs 912,800,000 in assistance loans to 128 members who had been financially impacted by the coronavirus.
UPFs budget for the 2021/22 Year has been reduced by Shs 533 Billion compared to 775.8 billion they had requested.
As such, the force’s budget for utilities which include; water, electricity and telecommunications has been reduced by more than a half (71 Bn) out of a projected 103 Billion.
According to Wunyi, only Shs 37 Billion out of the 82 Billion has been provided to cater for arrears, something which he warns might further increase the debts.