(L-R) Parliamentary Imam, Latif Ssebagala, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Muslim Journalist SACCO chairman,Kassim Kayira and SACCO Secretary Sadab Kitatta. Parliament Photo.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has advised Muslim journalists to increase savings and invest wisely so that their Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization-SACCO does not collapse.
Kadaga made the statement while launching the Muslim Journalists Taqaddum Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Ltd on Friday.
She advised the SACCO leaders and members to expand their investment portfolio to include earning profits from fixed deposit accounts and also buying shares on the stock market.
Kadaga however noted that several SACCOs have been formed, grown and died in a “very short time, and therefore, this one “should not be part of “the graveyard of dead SACCOS”.
SACCOs were introduced in 2006 as a mechanism for members to meet, save money and access loans so as to eliminate poverty. However, a number of them have collapsed in the recent past due to challenges relating to financial mismanagement, low saving volumes and high default rates among others.
The Chairman of the Muslim Journalists Taqaddum SACCO Kassim Kayira concurred with Kadaga on the need for prudent management of the SACCO. He added that apart from the general fear about poor management of SACCO, journalists are poor in mobilizing resources that benefit them.
Muslim journalists mooted the idea of the SACCO after forming a Whatsapp group which resulted into the members organizing and attending social gatherings and mobilizing resources to help vulnerable people in the community. It was from such engagements that the journalists agreed to form a SACCO, based on the principles of trust, honesty and the fear of God.
He noted that the SACCO was formed to improve welfare of journalists and also insure them against old age poverty.
Kayira says the SACCO currently has 60 fully paid up members who have saved a total of 32 million Shillings in one year. He says his leadership is now aiming to register at least 40 new members by June this year.
In 2019, the SACCO invested in supplying foodstuffs to schools and earned 4.1 million Shillings. It also injected 5.7 million Shillings in a car washing bay project located in Munyoyo, Kampala.
For one to join the SACCO, he or she must buy a minimum of 10 shares, equivalent to 200,000, Shillings, save a minimum of 50,000 Shillings per month and buy at least one share per month, until they have the maximum number of 163 shares per member.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga says government is committed to supporting organized cooperative societies around the country. While meeting a delegation of members from the Bukhoyo Parish Bodaboda Cooperative Society based in Iganga on Monday, 03 February 2020, Kadaga observed that it was prudent to support cooperatives that have progressive operations.
The delegation was led by former Iganga Woman MP, Hon. Olivia Kabaale Kwagala on behalf of Kigulu South MP Hon. Andrew Kaluya, and cooperative chairperson, Paul Nsio Waiswa.
Kwagala thanked the Speaker for being an advocate for the affairs of Eastern Uganda and Busoga in particular and called for her support.“As a Speaker of Parliament, you have seen the passing of several laws particularly the Cooperative Societies Act that governs this group. I request you to guide them on the issues they have come to present,” said Kwagala.
Waiswa appreciated Government’s support to youth associations in the country adding that most of the members in the Bukhoyo Parish Bodaboda Cooperative Society were youths.
He added that the cooperative is legally registered and presently has 137 members, with projects ranging from loan disbursement, poultry rearing and equipping members with hands-on skills.
“We have a challenge of financing the small loans we give out to our members and we request you to engage President Yoweri Museveni to support our organization with shs100 million to boost our capital to work on the loans and improve the poultry farm,” Waiswa said.
He also called for support in acquisition of a service van to ease transportation of their animal produce as well as sewing machines for the women in the group.
Kadaga committed to engage the necessary stakeholders to improve the operations of the Sacco.
“I will present your request for shs100million funding to the President and I will present your request for provision of motorcycles to the Minister for Microfinance. I will work with Hon. Kaluya to invite Enterprise Uganda to train your people,” Kadaga said.
She also committed to donate sewing machines to the cooperative, to present a tailoring work-opportunity to the women in the group; and also advised the group to maintain books of accounts and hold regular meetings so as to enable them easily acquire financial support.
Najjembe Market located along Kampala Jinja-Highway closed after the Minstry of Health identifying three people postive to Covid-19
The current lockdown has taken a huge toll on Najjembe Meat and Chicken Vendor’s Savings and Credit Co-Operative-Sacco in Buikwe district. The Sacco, which comprises more than 300 depositors, has been operational for the last three years.
The members have depositing between Shillings 10,000 and 20,000 a fortnight. According to the Sacco leadership, they had collected up to Shillings 40 million in member’s savings prior to the lock down. He however, says the money has now reduced to Shillings 19 million.
Usman Lukwago, the Najjembe Meat and Chicken Vendor’s Savings and Credit Co-Operative-Sacco Board Chairperson, says the lock down has completely drained their savings. He explains that when government announced the nationwide lock down, most members stopped making their fortnight contributions.
Lukwago says that when government started easing the lock down majority of the members secured loans expecting to resume their normal operations but unfortunately the market was closed and all vendors ordered to sell isolate after three of their colleagues tested positive for Covid19.
He explains that many vendors had stocked produce and beverages, which is going to waste. Lukwago says the board resolved to close the Sacco offices because they were finding difficulties to maintain their workers and pay rent. Lukwago says their plan was to use their savings to buy land and establish chicken farms to supply members.
Henry Ssentongo, another board member, says the lockdown has totally messed up their Sacco and they don’t know how to proceed.
Nubuati Nakayiza, one of the vendors says they are currently looking at their survival until the situation normalizes.
Jane Francis Kagaayi, the Buikwe District Commissioner comforts the vendors not to lose hope, saying the situation will soon normalize and they return back to their businesses.