SACCOs Fail to Meet Requirments for Govt Funding

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In short
SACCOs on the Rwenzori region are yet to meet the requirements and as a result, the centre has failed to put to use at least two billion shillings.

Savings and Credits Cooperatives- SACCOs in the Rwenzori region are failing to meet the requirements to access funds from the Micro Finance Support Centre.
 
The centre is a government institution responsible for micro credit programmes under the Rural Financial Services Strategy. It facilitates Saccos with loans to improve household incomes.
 
The support centre coordinates the credit programme in Kabarole, Kasese, Kyejonjo, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and Kamwenge districts, where there are more than 50 Saccos.
 
However, the centre has failed to put to use 2 billion shillings because SACCOs do not meet the requirements.
 
For a SACCO to access funds, it should be fully registered, have more than 300 members, basic start-up capital contributed by members and also have trained and competent staff.
 
Francis Mugisa, the Rwenzori regional manager of the centre, says that out of 70 Saccos which applied for the funds, only 15 meet the requirements. Mugisa says that the centre has been stuck with the funds for close to one year.
 
However Mugisa, says that micro finance support centre and the Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union Limited -UCSCU plan to build capacity for the SACCOs managers and members to enable them access funds.
 
Gerald Tumwesige, the micro finance-support centre field officer for Kabarole district says that some SACCOs lack the capacity to manage the funds disbursed to them. Tumwesige explains that they employ incompetent managers, which leads to embezzlement of members' savings.
 
He adds that some members are ignorant about how the SACCOs are run and how much interest members are meant to pay.
 
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However Charles Irumba, the chairperson of Kichwamba SACCO accuses the micro-finance centre of frustrating Saccos. Irumba says that the criteria used when accessing the funds involves a lot of bureaucracy.
 
Irumba adds that the Sacco was given a temporary registration certificate but they are yet to get funds from the centre. He says unless the process of lending is changed, poor people will be left out of the program.
 
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Faith Businge, a member of Nyabukara SACCO in Karambi Sub County admits that some executive members are very secretive in the way they handle SACCO affairs. Businge states that there is still need to sensitize managers and members on the procedures of accessing and managing the funds.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.