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Beware of fraudsters, Mbarara Saccos warned

Sacco members attending the training at the Sunset Hotel in Mbarara on Monday, February 25. (PHOTO BY BOB AINE)

MBARARA – In a bid to reduce on the amount of money Saccos lose at the hands of fraudsters per financial year, they have been asked to set up clear supervisory policies and carry out investigative audits to mitigate probable scams.

This was revealed on Monday, February 25 in a one-day workshop organized by DS Consults, a private audit firm, at shine Sunset Hotel in Mbarara. The event was attended by Sacco managers and internal auditors in western Uganda.

The workshop was aimed at informing Sacco owners and managers the detection and prevention of fraud.

Mr. Dickson Turyahabwe, the managing partner DS Consult, noted that during the investigative audits they have carried out, they have found out that most Saccos collapse due to a lot of money siphoned out by internal staff, which he attributed to lack of supervisory policies.

“Most Saccos lose over UGX50m to UGX100m per annum. This is a huge loss to any business enterprise. The purpose of this workshop is to enlighten Sacco managers how they can detect and prevent fraud through internal controls,” Mr. Turyahabwe noted.

He further noted that there should be regular physical cash counts against cash reserve books to ensure balance. He asked Sacco owners not to give an opportunity to fraudsters within by stepping up supervisory policies and put up fraud policy and procedures.

Mr. Denis Natukunda, the chairman audit, and supervisory Rwanyamahembe Sacco opined that most Saccos lose money in bookkeeping and system hacking. He said that this is the overall role of the supervisory team which most Saccos lack.

“System hackers have contributed to fraud. We have not been perfect in some of these internal controls but we hope we benefit from this training.”

Mr. Pidson Mbiine, the internal auditor Shuku Sacco, in Sheema attributed fraud to weak control systems such as poor bookkeeping. “You find a transaction has happened and it doesn’t have a receipt. It is not recorded anywhere.”

He asked developing Saccos to devise what he termed as separation of duties to ensure that all transactions have been checked and balanced off.

 

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