The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among has directed the Auditor General (AG) to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Exodus Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Ltd following complaints of irregularities by the lawmakers.
This was in response to a concern raised in the house by Geoffrey Macho, the Busia Municipality Member of Parliament, who claimed that police officers are facing numerous challenges to access their mandatory savings from the Exodus Sacco.
“The officers are forced to save money in the SACCO but if they are going to withdraw they face difficulties. In case one needs to withdraw the money you must apply online even when you are as far as Busia where you cannot access network,” Macho said.
The Budadiri West Constituency MP, Nathan Nandala-Mafabi also shared a similar concern, saying that they had received several complaints from police officers that the SACCO benefits mainly the influential people in the Force.
“Members of Parliament receive letters with complaints in their pigeon holes from police officers asking to be helped to access their savings. Every police officer complains about the SACCO; they say it benefits the big people,” said Mafabi.
Adding that during his tenure as the Chairperson of the Central Government Public Accounts Committee, there were complaints on the operations of the police Sacco, which prompted the committee to demand a forensic audit, whose report has never come out.
In her response, Among said the situation in which police officers were living was bad and that encroaching on their savings calls for urgent response on the side of the Government.
“We need the Auditor General to do a forensic audit on Exodus. We are giving them one month, those people are staying in manyattas built by themselves; the place is so squeezed,” Among said.
She observed that the poor state of the accommodation facilities in police barracks across the country urgently requires Parliament to consider helping improve the welfare of the police who are charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order.
“What I saw in Nsambya barracks, you will never want to see it the second time. When we are looking at the budget, we should take care of police welfare; they are living in a dire state,” Among said. She also directed the Minister for Works and Transport Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala to work on the road network within police barracks.
Exodus SACCO was started in 2007 by a resolution of the Police Council as an effort to pool resources for investment in order to reduce poverty among police officers.
It was registered with the cooperative society under registration number 8404. Among the services offered are savings accounts, fixed deposits, loans to members which include emergency, school fees, agricultural and development loans.