HOIMA – Last week Hoima City and the district leadership scheduled two weeks of training sessions in financial literacy for all SACCO leaders that lack basic money management knowledge but surprisingly they were shunned by many.
Speaking to theCooperator Joy Kabatalya, the Emyooga focal person, said the training sessions were meant to equip SACCO leaders with financial management skills and help them understand the concept of the Presidential Initiative On Job And Wealth Creation (Emyooga).
She said city and district leaders also wanted to equip SACCO leaders with knowledge and skills in SACCO management to ensure sustainability and avoid misappropriation of funds.
According to her, the trainings are conducted at the respective sub county/division headquarters but unfortunately many have shunned the sessions.
She said only 30 out of 72 SACCO leaders turned up.
Kabatalya warned that members who shun financial literacy training will not access funds since the training is a mandatory condition for accessing the funds.
“We were training them as one way of preparing them before accessing this money to understand the do’s and don’ts of this initiative, to avoid what is happening in other districts where SACCPO leaders are embezzling the money but most of the leaders have decided to shun the training,” she said.
She also decried the poor saving culture among SACCO members yet they must save at least 30 percent of the money they apply for to be eligible for the Emyooga loans.
Kabatalya said the condition is forcing some SACCO members to withdraw their membership, which is detrimental to the future of SACCOs.
In the same week Hoima district and city authorities led by Samuel Kisembo Hoima, the Resident City Commissioner, released 62 SACCO certificates out of 72, which were formed from1,460 Emyooga associations.
However, after handing over the certificates, the SACCO leaders were told they will not access the money until they get financial literacy empowerment. Hoima district and city received Shs 2.24 billion to be disbursed to 72 SACCOs.
John Tumusiime, the Hoima District Commercial Officer, said financial literacy training is mandatory because it will help beneficiaries to ensure that Emyooga cash, which is meant to be a revolving fund, is used sustainably.
“You need to put in place measures to ensure that the systems and structures of the SACCOs and associations are strengthened. For example, you need to have proper records, offices, which are independent from individual members’ businesses, and staff with basic qualifications,” he advised.
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