Right from the early stages of implementation of the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job creation [Emyooga] one of the most cross-cutting issues raised by beneficiaries has been inadequacy of the seed capital allocated to each Emyooga SACCO.
Each Emyooga SACCO received 30M, during the initial disbursements, with the exception of elected leaders who received 50M worth of seed capital, bringing the total amount received per constituency to Shs. 560M.
Whereas some beneficiary categories have relatively manageable numbers, some categories are overwhelmed by numbers and consequently struggle to satisfactorily serve their members.
To remedy this, Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development in chage of Microfinance, Hajj Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune, who is on a country-wide monitoring tour to assess progress of Emyooga program, has announced an additional 360 million shillings to be injected into the program, where each well-performing SACCO shall receive 20 million.
The additional seed capital shall be disbursed to Emyooga SACCOs upon satisfying the set criteria of; convening Annual General Meetings, voluntary and consistent saving, loan recoveries and observing the 30% savings requirement before a member can access a loan.
Recommendation of successful SACCOs shall be done by Resident District Commissioners or Resident City Commissioners assisted by District Commercial Officers and Community Development Officers.
Minister Kasolo cautions SACCO leaders to avoid people who bring in money from money lenders to gain quick access to the seed capital. He says such cases will in the long run jeopardize the program as the intended beneficiaries may be left out.
On arising concerns about the pre-set repayment period of 4 months, Minister Kasolo urges SACCOs not to give long-term loans as it kills the motive of revolving the fund to benefit all members.
He however reiterates that it remains at the complete discretion of the SACCO leadership to adjust accordingly.
Senior Presidential Advisor on greater Masaka affairs, Justine Nameere advises Emyooga beneficiaries to be ambassadors of the program wherever they are.
She points out scenarios where saboteurs de-campaign the program on open public fora in the face of beneficiaries.
This misinformation, she says, discourages the very people targeted by this initiative.