MASINDI, January 24, 2024 – Masindi Municipality Emyooga defaulters have been given an ultimatum of one week to clear their debts or else face arrest.
The ultimatum was issued days ago by Sanono Dhaala who is the Deputy Resident District Commissioner Masindi. He was speaking during the review meeting organised for Masindi Municipality Emyooga SACCO chairpersons held at the Municipal Chambers.
“We are going to carry out an operation in the district that will see the Emyooga funds defaulters arrested. We are going to start with the SACCO leaders who have refused to clear their loans. Some Emyooga SACCO leaders have deliberately declined to clear their loans which is contrary to the programme’s target,” Sanono explained.
He noted they recently arrested Emyooga money defaulters from Bwijanga Sub-county who had failed to clear their loans, adding that they are now going to intensify the operation to apprehend all the defaulters to ensure that the loans are recovered.
He castigated Emyooga SACCO leaders for allegedly using their positions to default, something he said he will not tolerate. He said failing to pay back in time has negatively impacted on the programme as other SACCO members have not benefited.
On his part, Emmanuel Twinomuhwezi, the Zonal Manager Microfinance Support Centre [MSC] Hoima, challenged the defaulters to clear their loans such that other SACCO members can also benefit.
‘’The money for Emyooga wasn’t a token from the government as some people think. It was intended to eradicate poverty and improve household incomes. This was a revolving fund which intended to benefit many people,’’ he explained.
Twinomuhwezi added that it is the SACCO members who have full control over their funds, noting that everyone should benefit.
“As MSC we are going to work with the Office of the RDC to ensure that defaulters pay back to give chance to others. I am calling upon the SACCO leaders who have loans to clear them, because they are supposed to lead by example,” he noted.
Patrick Asiimwe, the Masindi Municipality Deputy Town Clerk disclosed that some SACCOs were not performing well in terms of loan recovery.
‘’There are many challenges being reported. Most of the SACCOs are not doing well. That’s why we have come here to review and have a way forward. We expected you to come with detailed reports. But out of 18 SACCOs, only four have come with organised reports.”
Asiimwe underscored the need to always have detailed reports to avoid suspicions and accountability issues.
The Emyooga Programme, which is a presidential initiative on job and wealth creation was launched in August 2019 as part of the broad government strategy targeting to transform 68 percentr of homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production with the overall objective of promoting job creation and improving household incomes.
The initiative is centered on 18 enterprises, covering the majority of the hitherto financially excluded Ugandans engaged in similar specialised enterprise categories such as mechanics, welders, salonists, taxi drivers, journalists, and boda boda riders among others.
Speaking during the budget conference recently, Robinah Nyangoma the Masindi Municipality Commercial officer said that cumulatively, Shs 374 million had been recovered from 18 Emyooga SACCOs in the municipality since 2021.
She noted that Masindi Municipality received Shs 600mln as seed capital from government, adding that members from different SACCOs have so far saved a cumulative amount of of Shs 328mln.
“So far we have disbursed loans amounting to Shs 1billion. Share capital stands at Shs 4,900,000 and Shs 1.9mln has been got from registration,” she noted.
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