Man arrested over stealing his mother's SAGE money

By Andrew Musinguzi

By Andrew Musinguzi

Georgina Kyomukama, 98, accused her son of withdrawing her Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE) money and spending it. The son, Justus Mwesige, has been keeping her national ID.

When the story ran in New Vision on Monday, the Police launched a manhunt for him.

Upon arrest, Mwesige said his mother was too old to differentiate between currency notes.

"I have not been stealing my mother's money. I have been handing it to her every month, only that she is very old and does not recognise money given to her," he said.

The Police in Kyaterekera, together with the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), arrested Mwesige.

Albert Pamson, the officer in charge of Kyaterekera Police post, said Mwesige is alleged to have been picking Kyomukama's sh25,000 monthly honoraria.

"Every time he collects the money, he would give the old woman sh2,000, claiming it was sh20,000. Then he would take the sh5,000 as his transport to the sub-county headquarters," Pamson said.

He added that the suspect was arrested from Kyaterekera market at around 10:00am on Monday and that his file is being prepared for submission to Kagadi Police Station.

Lilian Ruteraho, who ordered the arrest of the suspect, appreciated New Vision for running the story.

"I have instructed Kyaterekera  LC3 chairperson, Dan Kabwijamu and Gombolola Internal Security Officer, Suwedi Kyaiswa to take charge of the elderly woman's national identity card as investigations into the matter continue," she said.

Ruteraho blamed the local leaders for failing to rescue the elderly woman and her grandson.

Kyomukama has been living a miserable life with her grandson, Martin Atugonza, 12, both of whom were attacked by jiggers on their feet, fingers and heels. According to Ruteraho, Atugonza is currently admitted at Kagadi Hospital. She said

she convinced a neighbour to be taking care of the elderly for security reasons.

Kyomukama thanked New Vision, the Police and the office of the RDC for rescuing her and her grandson and also ensuring that people who have been misusing her money are brought to book.

"Thank you for recovering my identity card and taking my grandson to hospital. I need a good house and food, such as fish, eggs, matooke and vegetables, but I cannot afford them, yet I am unable to dig," she said.

Sylivia Nyiramuco, a neighbour who has been taking care of the duo, said the mother of the boy went to do business and is not bothered about her son.

Francis Rwamwenge, the LC1 chairperson, said: "I mobilised the community and we constructed a small house for Kyomukama. We were again mobilising other well-wishers to support her," he said.