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Mbarara City Security Committee Orders Investigations into Operations of Traders Association :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Mbarara City Security Committee Orders Investigations into Operations of Traders Association

The Traders and members accuse the Chairperson of the Association Simon Sezi Mwijuka of disrespect, owning the Association as a personal entity, locking association offices, and failing to show accountability of funds.
Members of Mbacita in the special meeting
The Mbarara City Security Committee has directed Investigations into the operations of the Mbarara City Traders Association (MBACITA).

The directive was made on Friday at a special meeting called by the Deputy Resident City Commissioner Mbarara City South Division, Moses Aruho. This is after a group of traders and some executive members of the Association on Wednesday petitioned Aruho asking for intervention.

The Traders and members accuse the Chairperson of the Association Simon Sezi Mwijuka of disrespect, owning the Association as a personal entity, locking association offices, and failing to show accountability of funds.

Mwijuka is also accused of opening several bank accounts in different Banks and SACCOS that he used to channel the Association funds for personal use.

During the meeting, the Treasurer, Bakarya Tumuhimbise was asked to present a financial report which had conflicting figures.

Tumuhimbise told the meeting that the association had managed to raise 10 million shillings from subscription fees, 15 million shillings as a donation from the Uganda Revenue Authority, and 7 million shillings from the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, however, he showed an expenditure of 50 million shillings, and he could not reveal the source.

Susan Kentalo, the General Secretary of the Association said that the executive committee has never held a meeting to authorize the opening of other bank accounts in Stanbic and the KGM Bank. She also added that they have never okayed the withdrawal of funds.

She said the official account of the Association was opened in the Bank of Africa, noting that the other accounts are allegedly used by the Chairperson to defraud the Association.

But Mwijuka, requested more time to organize the financial report with the treasurer noting that the meeting was called abruptly.

Robert Kanusu, the Deputy City Commissioner for Mbarara City North Division, requested the chairperson of MBACITA to provide members with identification cards and give them copies of the membership list. He also instructed the Principal City Commercial Officer to organize an Annual General Meeting within a month to decide the chairperson's future.

The Mbarara Principal City Commercial Officer, Allan Karakure Buhanda, requested the Chairperson of the Association to arrange the Annual General Meeting on November 24th, 2023. He also tasked the Chairperson and Treasurer to submit all minutes of previous meetings and audited financial reports to his office before the general meeting.

Moses Aruho, the Deputy City Commissioner of Mbarara City South Division, instructed the City Police Commander and the City Internal Security Officer to investigate the Association's operations including any businesses organized or owned by the Association.

MBACITA is a voluntary business organization started in 2020 and registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in August 2021 to support the business community.