Patriotic League Uganda Disciplinary Committee Chairman Michael Mawanda Arrested For Stealing Funds

Posted on June 20, 2024
By Sean Musa Carter
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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has detained Igara County MP Michael Mawanda over allegations of financial mismanagement concerning war loss compensation funds intended for cooperatives. Mawanda, who also chairs the Disciplinary Committee for the Patriotic League Uganda (PLU), was apprehended after a lengthy interrogation at the CID headquarters in Kibuli on Wednesday evening.

Mawanda, alongside Elgon County MP Nyasio Mudimi Wamakuyu, presented themselves at CID headquarters to address the serious allegations leveled against them. Although specific details from the interrogation remain confidential, it was confirmed that Mawanda was taken into custody at around 6:30 PM. 

He was escorted in a police van by heavily armed counter-terrorism officers to Nateete Police Station, where he is expected to remain overnight.

The arrest is linked to Mawanda’s involvement with the West Mengo Growers Cooperative Society, which sought compensation for losses suffered by its members during Uganda's civil wars. Initially, the cooperative enlisted JM Musisi and Co. Advocates to claim over UGX 14 billion from the Ministry of Trade. 

However, Mawanda, despite having no official stake in the cooperative, directed the society to hire M/S Justin Mungoma and Co. Advocates for handling the compensation claims.

The Ministry of Trade subsequently released UGX 2 billion to the SACCO through Mawanda's recommended law firm. Alarmingly, only UGX 50 million of these funds reached the intended beneficiaries. 

Muusa Bagala, the accountant for West Mengo Growers Cooperative Society, testified before a parliamentary committee led by Mwine Mpaka, detailing that upon learning about the compensation, he confronted Mawanda in Parliament. Bagala disclosed that Mawanda suggested offering a UGX 50 million “token” to the SACCO’s leaders, which was later withdrawn from KCB Bank in Kampala by the law firm.