How Emyooga Minister Kasolo became a victim of his own success

Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune is the State Minister for Microfinance in the Ugandan Cabinet (PHOTO/Courtesy).

KYOTERA — State Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kasolo who is the architecture of the Emyooga Fund turned a victim of his own success —with a regurgitated wave of allegations of impropriety in disbursement of the money targeting him.

It has now emerged that the immediate former Kyotera County Member of Parliament and Minister for Microfinance may be a victim of his own success with strong performance returns, a headache for some specific political players who targeted him after President Museveni tasked him to implement the Emyooga Fund.

Launched in August, 2019 by President Yoweri Museveni as a presidential initiative on wealth and job-creation, Emyooga targets Ugandans, especially those in the informal sector who come together in form of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs), which are categorised in 18 clusters.

Emyooga programme is intended to encourage people to save because it’s not true that people don’t earn money. They do but they are not guided on how to save and invest. This programme emphasizes savings through provision of cheap money. So, once people have saved and have capital, they will be able to start their own income-generating activities. They will save more and fight poverty because they will be getting money through their own business activities,” according to a recent interview by Minister Kasolo.

Under Minister Kasolo’s helm, through Emyooga, they have so far disbursed UGX184.870 billion out of the UGX260 billion allocated to the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation.

These funds have been doled out to 5,886 SACCOs across the country out of the targeted 6,354 SACCOs.

Emyooga targets 18 constellations, including restaurant owners, boda bodas, women entrepreneurs, carpenters, salon operators, journalists, people with disabilities, fishermen, mechanics, performing artists, and taxi operators, among others.

Under the programme, 30 people form an association through which they get Shs30 million.

In Kampala alone, they have disbursed over UGX5.76 billion to 190 SACCOs and UGX1.560bn to 50 SACCOs in Kiira Municipality and UGX4.91bn to 100 SACCOs in Wakiso district.

President Museveni recently announced that his government would would triple money to support actors involved in the “emyooga,” a Runyankole word for specialized, tertiary skills.

“Through the new initiative of ‘Emyooga’ we are prepared to support any youthful group, SACCO or Cooperators who are embracing partnerships to ensure that they escape from poverty,” he said.

President said he is convinced the “emyooga” fund will help increase household incomes and deliver his wealth-creation agenda for the country.

He is also optimistic that affordable credit for these interest groups will aid Uganda’s efforts to attain at least two of the Sustainable Development Goals; SDG 1 – ending poverty and SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and Communities.

According to officials familiar with the matter, some political players who targetted the Minister are sourgraping over his success, some of the allegations are, on the other hand, being spearheaded by agents of a mafia circle, who failed to make a kill on the heavy budget.

A close aide to Mr. Kasolo said some political players are unhappy with tighter controls on the fund.

Teaming with some political elements, those frustrated then have decided to instigate and fan allegations of impropriety, all previously investigated found to be without merit, diversionary and in most instances instigated by political interests.

Through his Kasolo Foundation, the Minister has overwhelmingly transformed the livelihood of his constituents.

Even before declaring that he will be standing for the position of Member of Parliament in Kyotera, the State Minister has been helping the people of Kyotera District under the Kasolo Foundation.

The Foundation has been helping create jobs and start businesses for the youth, men, and women of Kyotera.

He was recently quoted as saying that losing the race for the Parliamentary seat to represent the people of Kyotera doesn’t mean that he is not going to continue helping his people.

Allan Tendo, the Executive Director of Kasolo Foundation, told reporters that the foundation is for the people and not for any other reasons that’s why it is going to continue developing the people of Kyotera over the years.

Among the things the Foundation has done and continued doing for the people of Kyotera is support their businesses through the Kasolo Microfinance that has given loans to business groups, given Boda Bodas to the youths, Pigs to start farming among other incentives.

Atleast over 1000 youth have been skilled in mechanics, hair dressing, bakery, radio presentation skills among others while other over 2000 are benefiting indirectly.

Through the Kasolo Foundation Radio which is on the frequency 89.3FM, the Foundation has helped in sensitizing the people of Kyotera on issues to do with awareness, security, Education, and Agriculture.

Recently, women who had taken part in the Kasolo Foundation training Centre received their sowing Machines to go and start making money as they run their own business. The Farmers were given cows, high bread bananas, and chicken among other things.

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