RUKUNGIRI. There was drama in Rukungiri town as State House probe team and Boona Bagigahare Nyekundire Group members, an anti-poverty alleviation group faced off as the later was handing over its report.
In October, State House Comptroller Ms Lucy Nakyobe instituted a five-member probe team led by Francis Batinti to investigate Boona Bagigahare Nyekundire Group Ltd over alleged fraudulent dealings.
The team was given up to one month to deliver its findings and on Wednesday at Heritage hotel, drama ensued after over 100 members of Boona Bagigahare group stormed the venue where this report was to be handed over.
The members said they chose to storm the function after learning they were not invited yet they were at the center of the probe.
“None of the Boona Bagagahare group members had been invited, even me he chairperson yet these findings were targeting us, my members called me last night and said they have to storm the meeting and had to drive throughout the night to face this team and discover the truth,” says Ms Peace Rugambwa.
Sensing danger and possible confrontation, the RDC Mr Dan Kaguta allowed members of Boona Bagigahere Group to attend the function and shifted to an open ground unlike a hotel as had been preferred by the organisers.
The RDC said despite organisers having wanted this to be a closed meeting with a few invited members, the issues to be discussed is of the same family appealing to both parties to keep calm.
The probe team chairperson Mr Katinti said it was not deliberate to exclude any person or group, saying few would witness the handover.
“We invited few members and district leaders because we were just handing over a report but not discussing it, so the allegations that we didn’t want this group here is not right,” said Mr Katinti.
The probe team wanted to confirm the number of people who paid and registered with Boona Bagigahare Group at the village level in the entire district. It also was to ascertain the number of people that received onion seeds among others things.
The findings read amidst protests were that the group has a membership of 17,198 people and that out of this, 2,442 are elderly persons over 70 years. It was also revealed that only 42 received mattresses and other 57 are in store pending distribution.
Among the recommendations the probe team says the group is like an NGO or private organisation and that its leadership could mobilise funding elsewhere but not government’s consolidated fund.