ARUA – Arua district commercial officer, John Ezuma is concerned that some people in the district are forming SACCOs with the intention to receive government money, share it amongst themselves and then disappear, leaving the SACCOs useless.
According to Ezuma, government needs to revisit the policy of requiring people to form SACCOs before they can receive its money meant for productive activities that can help the poor and unemployed citizens create wealth and jobs as well as fight household poverty.
To him, some people in the district do not think SACCOs can transform their lives and therefore have no interest in them, the reason, he said some SACCOs have collapsed.
The official cites an example of Emyooga programme where more than half of the SACCOs formed in Arua district have disintegrated after receiving government money.
“Forming SACCOs requires members to come together and identify a common need for which to join hands and agree on how to work together. Pushing people to form Saccos without them having interest needs to be revisited,” Ezuma said.
Ronald Kabagambe, the chairman Vurra Boda Boda SACCO, agreed with Ezuma’s argument, noting that many of the people who join SACCOs end up leaving after a short time.
He added: “This is the reason why many of the government programmes are failing. Such members who leave do not even know why they joined the SACCOs in the first place and what they want to achieve. We have stayed together as Boda Boda Riders SACCO because we came together with the aim of fighting poverty. Government programmes got us already existing.”
On his side, Romano Acidri, a member of Vurra Persons with Disabilities SACCO, appreciates government initiative of people forming SACCOs in order to access funding but advises that SACCOs need good leaders to offer members a sense of direction.
“To me, it is all about leadership. If the leaders are visionary, even a SACCO that started yesterday can do wonders,” Acidri said.
However, Boniface Alioni, National Resistanmce Movement [NRM] chairman for Arua, said that the government policy of requiring citizens to form Saccos before they can receive funding cannot be reversed in the short run.
He instead advised more citizens to join Saccos that suit the choice of their enterprises and regularly hold meetings to sort out any shortcomings that might lead to the disintegration of such SACCOs.
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