By Francis Nizeyimana
A total of 20 bank accounts belonging to women in Kisoro district, under the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) have found themselves between a hard place and a rock, after Government credited their accounts, twice for one project.
The accounts that are being managed by Centenary Bank Kisoro were blocked last week after the bank released there was an anomaly in the system.
The account owners and beneficiaries of the UWEP fund for the January pay out phase received more money amounting to the first payout. The new transfer, reflected in October this year, according to the surprised beneficiaries.
Ministry officials from Gender Labor and Social development traveled to Kisoro yesterday to meet with the Women groups in order to offer an explanation.
A two man team, who both preferred anonymity met with the Women at the Kisoro district headquarters and explained that, the second money transfer to their accounts is what’s referred to as, “erroneous transfer”.
“The monies you all first received in January this year is meant to be paid back as per the guidelines of the UWEP program. No one is asking that money back from you, put it to use as you had requested however the second transfer was an error and it needs to be returned, Official explained.
The officials further noted that some members had managed to withdraw some amounts before the bank could red flag them.
“All we are saying at this point, is that we need the good women of Kisoro to return the money and not to complicate issues because we could have used the Police and other methods however we chose to have a conservation instead, please comply”, the officials stated
The Kisoro district Chief Administrative office Musa Onzu Ismail who was also present at the meeting urged the women to soften and let the money go because it was not there in the first place.
“If your neighbor’s chicken or goat walks into your compound, do you immediately slaughter it, no, therefore please let the money go. You have been Women of Sense, let us leave this nonsense”, Onzu said
One Month Grace Period
The Women, who at first were not convinced with the Ministry officials accused them of being fraudsters.
The Women who also preferred anonymity said some of them had used all the money while others had used some.
Our investigations indicate that out of 20 blocked accounts, 7 accounts had managed to withdraw some amounts of money.
It was also learnt that issue is far spread including other UWEP groups of Kabale, Kiruhura, Moroto and Amudat among others.
Kisoro Women said they would strongly consider the decision of returning the money but asked for a grace period of one month since some had already invested it in Irish potato seedlings.
Kisoro UWEP group has been ranked as one of the best performing women groups in the country since its inception.