ISINGIRO – State Minister for Microfinance Haruna Kasolo has said districts in western Uganda can do better in the Emyooga Sacco’s if more attention is given to the scheme.
Kasolo who has been traversing western Uganda said Emyooga is still a new program that has not even yet made its second year but his tour is going to be very important in as far as registering success and also fixing all the challenges that might hinder progress of the program is concerned.
The minister shared that when he visited Kazo, there was some kind of good progress, Mbarara was at 50 50 then Rwampara but Isingiro still has challenges which he is optimistic will soon be fixed.
“I am told some political leaders were misleading beneficiaries informing them that this was a political handshake which was not the case. I have sat with some leaders in the district and they are determined to change the situation. People must know that this program belongs to them, there must be a sense of ownership, and this is not a government program but a people’s program,”Kasolo said.
He added that ever since they (government) handed over the money to the Sacco’s, they are the ones who withdraw it from the bank, sit and determine who should get a loan, recover the money so it is entirely their program.
According to Kasolo, in other districts, the program is a success but in Isingiro, mobilization was affected by covid, politics and some challenges but now that people are free to convene meetings, mobilize, things are going to change.
“Attitude and mindset change are things you cannot overturn in a day, you need to talk to people and sensitize them repeatedly. I have now deployed many teams, some will be at the parish level training the beneficiaries, and we are also going to train local leaders from Sub County to district level so that we all promote the progress of this program.”
Emyooga is a government poverty alleviation program that the government set up to enable people have access to cheap credit which they can use to start income generating activities so that they can earn a living.
This was after the government discovered that people are poor not because they choose to be poor but do not have capital and collateral they can mortgage in banks and get loan facilities.
On the issue of people who borrow emyooga money and fail to return it, Kasolo said what he has been saying about arresting them is not a joke since they breached the terms of borrowing.
“I am not scaring anyone, I mean what I say. If you do not want to be humiliated on TV and radio or in public areas, you must pay because you took the money well knowing that it has to be returned. If you are seated with it and do not want to bring it back for other people to take it, you are going to be arrested and be humiliated,” Kasolo said, adding that they will ensure that 100 percent recovery is obtained.
Performance report for Isingiro District
The district has 90 SACCOs formed from the five constituencies of Isingiro North, Isingiro West, Isingiro South, Bukanga North and Bukanga County that makes up the district
Total number of active Associations formed are 1619 with 26,815 individual beneficiaries. A total of 1,619 associations have received funds from the saccos.
Seed Capital received stands at Ugx 2,8000,000 Billion, current Savings Volume mobilized stands at Ugx 268,410,600 Million, ShareCapital stands at Ugx 312,653,000 Millions and Loans disbursed are Ugx 2,613,886,900 Billion.