Cooperatives & Communities

Masindi credit cooperatives warned against depending on donor funds

MASINDI – Credit cooperatives in Masindi district have been warned against dependence on donor funds.

The warning was sounded by Monica Tibemanya ,the Masindi Municipality Council commercial officer during the second annual general meeting [AGM] for Bunyoro Lutheran Community Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited. The cooperative’s AGM was held last week at their Church in Kihande Cell, Central Division in Masindi Municipality.

The cooperative  which is involved in different activities like farming, savings and credits, was officially launched last year by the Minister for Presidency, Milly Babalanda.

“When you start SACCOs and cooperatives you need to finance them by buying shares. SACCOs need to be member-owned. If your SACCOs are to be self reliant ensure that you finance them yourselves,” she advised.

She also cautioned SACCOs’ leaders to always ensure that the cooperative principles are followed.

According, to the chairperson of the cooperative, Justus Ahimbisibwe, they are grappling with challenges of ignorance of some of the members about cooperative principles and values, poor  subscription, and poor loan repayment among other challenges.

He however said they have started sensitising members such they are able to understand the principles that govern cooperatives but also have organised visits to thriving SACCOs.

According to Raymond Kaija, the dean of the Lutheran Church Mid-Western deanery, who is also the patron to the cooperative, they wanted to empower members economically and spiritually through the cooperative.

He added they plan to establish a technical institute to help impart skills to the youth, as well as establishing a  health centre at Kyamujwara Cell in Masindi Municipality.

“All these are embedded in our ten years strategic plan and we intend to achieve them within the time frame we have set in our strategic plan,” said Kaija.

He added: “Our aim is to move out of poverty because as a church its bad to preach to a hungry and poor congregation. That is why we embarked on preaching the gospel aimed at fighting poverty. You need to buy shares if we are to grow our cooperative.  Let’s all be ambassadors of this cooperative.”

Minister Babalanda promised to link the cooperative to responsible government ministries and agencies so that it gets financial support.

She also pledged Shs 5 million towards the cooperative, even though she first paid 2mln of the money she promised.

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