Clients of Vision Financial Services Cooperative Society Ltd stormed the institution’s offices in the town of Kabaale on Monday, demanding repayment of their deposits due to the inability to access loans.
The institution opened offices on Nyerere Road in the central division three months ago and mobilized clients in the Kurezi sub-region through radio announcements, urging people to open accounts and to access loans.
Mr. Edison Byarugaba, principal of an elementary school in Kabale town, said he was convinced to join the institution after colleagues told him it gave quick loans unlike other banking institutions.
“I deposited 640,000 shillings after being promised to get a quick loan of 6 million shillings in one week. When I came Friday last week for the loan they told me to come back Monday morning. Upon arriving here, the offices were closed and the phone numbers of all staff were disabled, ”Mr. Byarugaba said.
Bubare Women Farmers Association President Ms. Demitori Nuwahanga said they were convinced to save Shs1m with Vision Financial Services Cooperative Society Ltd so that they could quickly access a loan of Shs12m within a week.
“We agreed to deposit our money because the conditions for obtaining loans from this financial institution were not as harsh as those of other banking institutions. I’m concerned that all of our money may have been stolen because they told us to show up on Monday to choose our loan only to find the offices closed and no staff member was available to give us feedback, ”he said. Ms. Nuwahanga said.
Police spokesman for the Kigéi sub-region, Mr. Elly Maate, said police were told of angry people who locked up a loan officer, Mr. Brian Akatukunda, after he arrived at work .
“We will fully investigate this matter after the complainants officially register their case at the police station by recording their statements. Some of the staff at this financial institution don’t know where the headquarters are because they only say they are in Kampala, ”Maate said.
He added, “We saved him because we feared he might be hurt by angry customers.”
Kabale Resident District Commissioner Darius Nandinda has warned the public about risking their money by placing it in institutions that promise quick loans. He said they should always seek financial services from well established banks supervised by the Bank of Uganda for the safety of their money.
Mr. Nandinda also advised people to record statements with the police so that security can investigate and assist them.
One of the financial institution’s loan officers, Mr. Onan Aine, said he was employed by Mr. Nicholas Senfuka, who was the managing director, and his deputy was Mr. John Byekwaso. He added that on September 12, the aforementioned officials had promised him 800,000 shillings as a monthly salary in addition to his travel and accommodation allowances, but he had never been paid to date.
Mr Aine also revealed that he was threatened with sacking when he asked for his two-month salary arrears.
“They (the managers) asked us to always deposit the money collected from customers on the cell phone of Mr. Nicholas Senfuka, the general manager. When we wondered why they weren’t using the bank accounts, they threatened to fire us. By the time they turned off their phones, we had deposited around 30 million shillings, ”Aine said.
“These people deceived us, security should help us find them so that they can pay our money. We had a total of about 100 clients who had deposited their money in the financial institution in the hope of getting loans quickly, ”he added.
He further explained that each customer was required to pay 10,000 shillings for opening an account, 10,000 shillings for membership and 20,000 shillings for account maintenance before they could start depositing money. on their accounts.
The appointed managing director, Mr. Senfuka and his deputy, Mr. Byekwaso, could not be reached as their known phone numbers have been deactivated.
In March 2011, Kabale’s Chief Magistrate’s Court sentenced two officials who embezzled Widows and Elderly Care (COWE) money in the district to four years in prison each, in addition to ordering them to reimburse some of the money.
About 3,220 people sued administrators COWE, a financial institution that operated in the Kabale district, accusing them of fooling them about Shs4b as they were mobilized to deposit money with the institution for earnings. rapid between 2006 and 2007.