By Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi
I and my senior colleague, Ronald Katende Kinene spent Thursday, June 30th in the field in Masaka city, inspecting operations of Emyooga SACCOS.
In many of the areas we visited in both Kimaanya Kabonera and Nyendo Mukngwe city divisions, some people were confused that Emyoga poverty alleviation program is not more, and has been replaced by Parish Development Model.
We had to explain that emyoga program is still going on and by Thursday, nine successful SACCOs had got additional 20 million shillings as they wait for the 30 million shillings, this 2022/2023 Financial Year, which started on Friday July 1st.
Before we went to the field, we hosted officials from Micro Finance Support Center, Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, who came to assess the Emyoga SACCOS which, for two years has been with temporary licenses, and according to the law, after that period, they are entitled to permanent licenses.
We visited the Kimaanya Kabonera County Women SACCO which started with 14 associations, but were reduced to nine associations and received 30 million as seed capital, has loaned 124 million shillings and has saved 41 million shillings. The associations has a membership of 228.Their problem was an office, and we provided part of the RCC’s office to them for operations.
We went to Kimaanya Kabonera where democratically Elected Leaders SACCO , which started with six associations but now 22, with seed capital OF 50 MILLION SHILLINGS, have saved Shs. 255 with Shs.7m being profits. It cuts across NRM, DP, NUP and FDC leaders and is one of the most successful ones in the country. The members are 441. They however don’t have a permanent office and we advised them to use part of the profits for rent.
There is Nnyendo Mukungwe Constituency Saloon Operators Cooperative Society. They started with three associations, doubled them, but are now reduced to five as one collapsed. It god 30 million seed capital, it has saved over Shs. 13m and issued Shs.40.83m as loans. They face some leadership challenges and Office of RCC, Masaka City Council though Commercial Officer and Community Development Officer and Micro Finance Center, promised to help them.
Then, there was Nyendo Mukungwe Market Vendors SACCO. It started with 17 associations and ended with 10, It has 201 members, 24 men, 12 youth and 165 women. They got 30 million seed capital, have loaned out 32 million shillings and have 15.6 million shillings as savings. These too, face leadership challenges and we promised to help them.
Some of the challenges have been the negative propaganda campaign portraying Emyoga project as a failure which has been replaced by PDM. This is not true. Emyoga is a successful project in the country and in particular in Masaka city and Greater Masaka and it is growing deeply and widely. Testimonies included a tomato farmer who started with one acre and is now with 10 acres, a market vendor who had one stall but now has a retail shop, Nyendo Mukungwe taxi operators who have purchased one for taxi services, etc…
Then turning to PDM, last Wednesday June 29th, we had a sensitization workshop at Mariaflo hotel, by Minister of State for Water Development Hajjati Asiaha Ssekindi, who explained that PDM is for subsistence farmers who only work for stomach (ekida kyonka), who depend on only one mill, other than three, who are not even in Myoga. They must be active poor, whose households will get a one million loan, and will e able to use in production, value additions, through cooperatives, and will be able to pay back.
All in all, according to our City Commercial Officer, 614 associations have been registered in Masaka city, 291 in Kimaanya Kabonera division, and 323 in Nnyendo Mukungwe Division. Women associations are 205, youth associations 164 and others 230. 9.828 have joined those associations and 25 SACCOS have been formed in 25 wards, 11 for Kimaanya Kabonera and 14 for Nnyendo Mukungwe.
They have held first annual general meetings, elected leaders for a term of four years opened bank accounts, 19 accounts in Posta Bank, 3 in DFCU, two in Bank of Africa, and One in Pride Micro Finance.
l only reminded Water Development Minister, who also doubles as Kalugu District Woman MP, the 1996 presidential promise of a beef factory at Lukaya, in addition to subsequent glass and fruit processing factories, the latter two, preparations are going on.
Haji Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi is a Deputy City Resident Commissioner for Masaka City in charge of Kimaanya Kabonera city division.
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