The Microfinance support centre has embarked on sensitizing Emyooga SACCO leaders in preparations for the permanent registration of SACCO groups in the Karamoja sub-region.
Emyooga SACCOs were registered by the registrar of cooperatives societies on probation for a period of two years, after which they are expected to be permanently registered depending on their performance.
According to Lydia Nambuya the microfinance support centre zonal manager for the Moroto office, they have started sensitizing the SACCO leadership on the legal aspects of SACCOs, including requirements for permanent registration.
MSC is also conducting engagements with SACCO executive members in order to promote better working relationships and lay the foundation for sustainable Emyooga SACCOs.
Nambuya says they have already introduced the key contact persons who will support the permanent registration and licensing to the Emyooga leadership.
She further noted that there are low recoveries of loans from the SACCO groups urging the leadership to encourage their members to clear the money so that they are credited with additional funds.
Lawrence Achia, the district commercial officer for Moroto says there have been some improvements in some of the associations and they qualify for permanent registration.
Achia also revealed that their work is also frustrated by the lack of transport means for enabling them to monitor the SACCO groups. He appealed to the government to consider availing some funds to facilitate them to be able to supervise and sensitize the beneficiaries.
Justin Tuko, the deputy Resident District Commissioner for Moroto said that more effort is needed to educate association members on financial management to avoid misuse of funds.
Tuko said there is also a need to change the mindset of the beneficiaries from thinking that the money was part of the appreciation from the president for winning the general elections of 2021.
He said there is excitement from the beneficiaries that the money is supposed to be spent and not refundable, a factor that has contributed to the low recoveries of loans.
Tuko said they will arrest loan defaulters because they cannot allow the program meant to benefit everyone to be mismanaged by a few individuals in the association.
In a recently concluded exchange visit, several Emyooga leaders noted that they were facing a problem of failure to recover loans from members.
A team of Emyooga leaders was taken on a tour to SACCOs that have succeeded over the years despite such issues. The leaders visited Busaiga SACCO in Fort Portal, Kyamuhunga Peoples SACCO in Bushenyi, Nyakayojo SAACO in Mbarara, Mbarara City North Producers Emyooga SACCO, MAMIDECOT and Kimanya-Kabonera leaders’ Emyooga SACCO in Masaka.
During a visit to MEMIDECOT, Mr Kasujja who has been in the top leadership of the institution noted that as young SACCO leaders, they must only lend what they have.
“You can’t give what you do not have. If you have 8 million, you cannot give it all to one member just because they have asked. What do you expect other members to take anyway? It is better to give someone 100,000 and get a profit off it to help you grow the income so that you can afford to lend to others too,” he explains.
While in Masaka, the group also visited Kimanya-Kabonera leaders’ SACCO. One of the board members Hajji Hamidu Bukenya said that their current success is tagged to an ambitious plan laid down by the leadership of their SACCO to help develop their members economically.
The SACCO started with 90 members distributed in 9 associations under two years ago. The number has since grown to 471 members in 28 groups. Of these, 310 are women and only 120 are men.
According to Hajji Bukenya, they have set a target to increase their membership to 600 within this year 2023 and to increase their savings from the current Shillings 132 million to 300,000,000. He urged fellow leaders to be ambitious, push their members to think bigger and bring more people on board.
The presidential initiative on wealth and job creation (Emyooga) was launched in the Karamoja sub-region on the 13th of March 2020, covering nine districts, 17 constituencies, 67 sub-counties and 362 parishes.