SACCO managers have been advised to uphold professionalism and prudent accountability practices, in order to boost rural access to financial services.
The statement was made by Mr. Patrick Todi, the District Commercial Officer of Katakwi, following the rate at which registered SACCOs are collapsing in the district. SACCO members are accusing managers of embezzlement.
“Despite the pivotal role SACCOs play, they still have many challenges, including a high rate of bad loans. Managers should be able to come up with innovative measures to recover these loans,” he said.
Mr. Todi blamed the high rate of non-performing loans in the SACCOs on malpractices and bribery of management during the loan application process, which later affects the recovery process.
He also highlighted that there have been cases of embezzlement and poor management of funds which is a threat to the development of SACCOs.
Mr. Todi said there is need for SACCO managers to upgrade their managerial skills to meet the standards of efficient fund management, warning that they will not tolerate more fraud or malpractices.
On the other hand, he encouraged Ugandans to embrace SACCOs as a way of kicking out poverty.
He noted that SACCOs have contributed a lot in fostering economic development by offering financial services, particularly loan and savings products to people with limited access to commercial banking services.
SACCOs promote a saving culture and provide loans to support income-generating activities that elevate the standard of living for rural populations.
Feedback from SACCO Managers
Mr. Jean Bosco Okiror, the Manager of Katakwi high school staff SACCO said that non-automated accounting systems are a challenge that impedes supervision.
He explained that most SACCOs are using manual accounting processes which increase the risk of fraud, errors and inconsistencies in data.
“Among the rapid solutions to improve accountability at Katakwi High School staff SACCO, the SACCO will deploy external auditors,” Mr. Okiror said.
Mr. Charles Edangat, a member of Kaikamosing saving and credited cooperative society in Magoro sub-county cited challenges in the flow of communication, where they send their inquiries to the office of the managers and wait for months with no feedback. This affects their performance.
He also talked about the issue of poor collaboration in the audit process where they are not given an opportunity to hold managers and board members accountable.