The government has given Shs1.6 bn to 54 SACCOs in Masindi district under the Presidential Cluster Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation (Emyooga).
The cash injection was made in fulfillment of a pledge made by State Minister for Microfinance, Harunah Kasolo Kyeyune while launching the Emyooga program in the Bunyoro sub-region last year.
At the time, the minister revealed that government would inject Shs 620m into each constituency to fund businesses under 19 selected clusters that include Boda-boda riders, salon owners, carpenters, taxi operators, welders, market vendors, Journalists, performing artists, mechanics among others.
Under the project, each enterprise group with a minimum of 30 members is supposed to receive up to Shs 30m in funding, which will be accessed as a revolving fund by members to boost their respective income-generating ventures, at interest rates as low as 5 percent annually.
Earlier this year, theCooperator reported that 54 SACCOs had formed out of over 1000 such groups. Groups of individuals involved in similar enterprises were tasked to form SACCOs through which they would receive financing under the scheme.
The SACCOs were formed from three counties including Masindi municipality, Bujenje, and Buruli, with 18 from each.
While members of the different SACCOs report having started receiving the Emyooga funds on their accounts in late December, many are bitter over the fact that they are as yet unable to access it.
“We have no clear explanation as to why this is happening. There is an information gap as far as this matter is concerned,” the perplexed members complained.
When theCooperator contacted Moses Kalyegira the Masindi District Commercial Officer to ascertain the cause of the delay, he confirmed that 54 Emyooga SACCOs received the money but members cannot access it until their SACCOs have presented a certificate of registration.
He explained that the requirement to present the certificates, which was supposed to have been done prior to account opening, had been waived temporarily at the time, with the understanding that the SACCOs would acquire them before accessing funds.
“The SACCOs were given a go-ahead to open bank accounts without certificates of registration because the State minister for Microfinance, Harunah Kyeyune Kasolo, wrote to the banks requesting them to allow the SACCOs to open the accounts without them,” Kalyegira intimated.
However, he promised that the SACCOs’ managers would be able to access their money.
“We expect the Certificates of registration to be ready by next week such that the SACCOs can be able to transact their money with the banks. After receiving the certificates, we shall call all the SACCO leaders to come to pick them,” he said.
Kalyegira noted that sensitization of prospective beneficiaries is currently underway, saying that a section of people think that the money is meant to be shared out or is just a token of appreciation for mobilization of votes.
“This money is a grant to the SACCOs, which will lend it out to at an interest of 8% per annum. People should use this money resourcefully because it can change their lives,” Kalyegira urged.
Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country- wide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news