Hoima Sacco, Government clash over Shs 50m loan

HOIMA – In a speech at the annual general meeting of the Hoima District Referees Saving and Credit Co-Operative Society (Sacco), Board Chairman Patrick Kunihira, publicly voiced his concern about a deliberate lack of financial and technical support from the Microfinance Support Center (MSC).

Kunihira told members gathered at Kitara Secondary School on April 4 that last year the Sacco applied for a loan of Shs 50 million but has got no response to date.

He said such challenges are frustrating the growth of the Sacco in the district yet MSC is mandated to help Saccos grow.

He said they submitted all the paperwork including a land title valued at Shs 50 million but MSC refused to give the loan.

He said the SACCO management wrote to the commissioner in charge of MSC and got the much-needed nod of approval for the loan.

“Our Sacco is moving on well but the challenge we are getting is that government is not supporting us, in July last year we applied for a Shs 50 million loan but to-date MSC has not replied to our request, we have moved, given them our land title and everything they demanded but unfortunately they have not given us this loan. Government injects a lot of money in MSC, now we are asking ourselves if they can’t lend money to our Sacco, who does MSC lend to?” he asked.

He also accused the minister of Finance Matia Kasaija of neglecting Saccos formed to help people climb out of poverty.

“As Banyoro we are wondering why we cannot benefit from the NRM government yet our president always points to our own in government like Finance Minister Matia Kasija.”

He said they invited MSC officials and local leaders to attend the AGM but nobody turned up including the local council chairperson. He said Saccos are collapsing because leaders and MSC officials don’t value and support them.

Interviewed for a comment, Andrew Zimbe, the Microfinance Support Center regional manager, said the loan disbursement was delayed by the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that last year Bank of Uganda wrote to MSC stopping the center from giving out loans because the economy was not doing well at that time. He urged Sacco members to remain calm. Soon, he said, money will be disbursed to the SACCO.

“When we came out of the Covid-19 lockdown you could not rush to give out money because even the people who were having our money were not paying, people who received our money in 2020 were requesting us to reschedule the repayment periods, so we had to study the economy slowly by slowly. Definitely last year no lender was giving out money, even the Bank of Uganda wrote to all banks and commercial institutions and told them that please do not give out loans based on collateral,” he said.

He also said the Sacco never surrendered any land title to MSC. He said the center doesn’t take collateral before giving out loans.

Zimbe apologized for not attending the AGM.

“Personally I was supposed to attend but we had to pick Emyooga certificate for Hoima from our head office, so we had to choose between a rock and a hard place,” he said.


Philip Tibaigana, the Sacco manager, said the Sacco currently has Shs 330 million in savings and Sh22 million in shares.

He said the Sacco, which started in 2015, has 112 members and has given out Shs 279m in loans. The Sacco has two acres of titled land with Eucalyptus trees, computers, and furniture among other things.

Tibaigana however, said some members are failing to save or pay back loans largely due to the ravages of the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

“We would be having over Sh 330 million but because of Covid-19 our members lost their businesses and others are just recovering and this reduced our savings because our members are no longer saving as they used to, some are withdrawing their savings to boost their business and others to look after their families,” he said.

He said in the future the Sacco may morph into a bank, have a farm, trees, transport system, and depot. “We want to have investments to ensure sustainability, so I want to encourage our members to continue saving so that we can achieve this dream.”

James Ayebale, the Sacco treasurer, said the Sacco has grown because it follows elaborate policies such as holding meetings and budgets.

“We started at village level but now we are at the district level, it has not been easy but we have been following the Sacco policies, such as financial policy, board policy, and human resources policy,” he said

Julius Tukwasibwe, a teacher at St James SS, said the Sacco has improved his livelihood. He said he has used a small loan borrowed from the Sacco at a 1% interest rate to construct a house, to acquire a plot of land in town, and pay school fees for his children.

During the meeting, Patrick Kunihira was elected chairman deputized by Tadeo Asaba. James Ayebale is the treasurer.

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New Sacco to give out Cheap loans in Hoima

The newly launched KASSOBA SACCO is on course to open with offers of cheap loans to members of Kabalega Secondary School Old Boys Association (KASSOBA).

The official launch was on April 3 at Kolping hotel in the western Hoima town.

According to Samuel Mugisa, the interim chairperson of KASSOBA SACCO, the old boys resolved to form the SACCO in 2018 during the annual general meeting.

“The SACCO was supposed to kick off in 2020 but we were disorganized by COVID-19. But when we met again in March this year we resolved to start,” Mugisa said.

He said the SACCO has 90 registered members already and hopes to shore up the numbers to 300 members within the next two years.

“Members are buying each share at Shs 20,000. Saving has also commenced, we hope to have saved at least Shs 500 million in two years. This is going to be the ladder to the members’ economic development,” Mugisa said.

“Many of our boys have lost properties due to the high interest rates from banks and financial institutions but I am optimistic that with this SACCO, our members will be able to access loans at an affordable interest rate. We want our SACCO to be vibrant like the (army’s) Wazalendo SACCO,” he stressed.

Mugisa said in the future they will allow outsiders to access conditional loans.

“Worldwide SACCOs have been the engine of development and many people have prospered through them,” he added.

In a speech at the SACCO launching, John Tumusiime, the district commercial officer of Hoima, took members through the process of forming, sustaining, and developing a SACCO.

“If your SACCO is to move from one level to another, you have to be with a transparent leadership and also ensure that record-keeping and accountability are key. Also never leave the entire burden to the leadership. You members always participate in the day-to-day SACCO activities,” he noted.

The old boys also elected an interim committee to steer the SACCO. Samuel Mugisa is the chairperson deputized by David Muhumuza. Charles Baisa is the treasurer, Alfred Kusiima is the general secretary and Ronald Murungi is a mobilizer.

KASSOBA, which formed the SACCO was started by the old boys of Kabalega Secondary School in the western district of Masindi in the 1980s.

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Long-dormant sacco in Masindi bounces back

A long-dormant savings and cooperative credit society has been revived.

The Masindi Savings and Cooperative Credit Society Limited has been revived by members after a two-year lull.

The SACCO membership comprises mainly active and retired civil servants of the Masindi district local government.

On April 1, Moses Kalyegira, the Masindi district commercial officer, convened a special general meeting that elected a new board.

Addressing the meeting at the council chambers, Kalyegira said the SACCO had been dormant for two years because the board chairperson resigned under unclear circumstances. After her resignation other board and SACCO members lost interest in the association, Kalyegira said.

“This is a special meeting because the board has failed to perform its duties. I have engaged the former chairperson Ruth Kisakye three times to convene a meeting so she could hand it over officially but in vain. I have decided that I chair this meeting so that the SACCO can put in place a new board to start conducting business because the business couldn’t go on without signatories,” he explained.

Kalyegira said he convened the meeting because he couldn’t just sit and let the SACCO collapse. He wondered why SACCOs of people with little financial knowledge were thriving and theirs full of professionals in finance was limping.

“People have been unable to access services and yet they have money on the SACCO account because board members lost interest. Let’s forget that and start a new chapter today. I have been receiving many complaints from members about their money being idle in the bank and being deducted,” Kalyegira said.

The outgoing board treasurer, Charles Musinguzi, and the vice-chairperson Godfrey Baharagate attended the meeting.

According to Kalyegira, the SACCO, which started in 2003, at one time had about 300 members before those numbers dropped to just 100 active members currently.

“The purpose of its formation was to enhance a saving culture amongst members and to offer loans at a low-interest rate to civil servants,” he noted.

Charles Musinguzi, the outgoing treasurer told members that Shs 20 million was loaned out. He said the SACCO has Shs 6.5 million on the account. He also said there’s a time savings totaled Shs 70 million.

“Some people are willing to pay back our money but they have not done so because we have not been active. This is the time to forget the past and set a new agenda,” Musinguzi said.

He said some monies may be difficult to recover.

“The mode of recovery and saving was an automatic deduction from the salaries. Recovering this money might also be a challenge because some civil servants no longer work with us,” he said.


During the elections presided over by Moses Kalyegira, Ibrahim Nasur, the senior assistant secretary for the Kyatiri town council, was elected as the board chairperson, Charles Musinguzi, the retired personnel officer, is the new secretary and Patrick Okise, the principal internal auditor, is the treasurer.

Other board members include; Prudence Alituha, the principal fisheries officer, Godfrey Bahemuka, the district community development officer, James Mugoya, the lands officer, and Oliver Mabeho, a teacher.

The supervisory committee has David Baguma, the chief finance officer, as its chairperson while Joseph Kabubi and Mary Birungi were elected as members.

In his inaugural speech, Ibrahim Nasur said, “I am one of the people who had lost interest. This is a SACCO for technocrats. How can it fail?”

“My first agenda is to ensure that people’s money is recovered. I will also follow up to see whether the money deducted automatically for saving and repayment is remitted to the SACCO,” he stressed.

Patrick Okise, the new treasurer, urged people who had lost interest to come back.

“We need to wake up now and revive this SACCO because it can give us loans at a low interest. Every day we are exploited by banks and other financial institutions who give us loans at over 40% interest and yet we can do it ourselves at a low interest. We need to wake up now.”Okise said.

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Cooperative slashes fees to attract new members

To shore up its numbers, Lira Diocese Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited has slashed its membership fee from Shs 50,000 to Shs 30,000 to encourage registration of new members with minimal fees.

In a speech at the recent annual general meeting (AGM) held at the Apostolic Social Centre in Lira City, Cyprian Okello, the cooperative’s vice-chairperson, said many people had failed to register because they couldn’t afford the registration fee of Shs 50,000.

“We are forming the central mobilization committee. We shall ensure that each and every parish forms a mobilization committee that will include the catechist, parish priest, and the key people to strengthen mobilization, we want people everybody to understand the benefit of joining a cooperative,” he said.

So far the cooperative has 150 members. It was formed by Sanctus Lino Wanok, the Bishop of Lira Diocese in 2019, to improve the livelihoods of Christians in the nine districts of the Lango sub-region.

Patrick Vincent Muge, a member of the cooperative, said to succeed, the cooperative should engage only able and willing people to carry out Sacco activities.

Muge also urged the leadership to carry out more mobilization of Sacco members.

Father John Bosco Oryema, a member of Alito Catholic parish was excited by the reduction of the membership fees, saying it will encourage women to participate in the cooperative.

“The reduction will give avenues for women to join the cooperative, most women spend their money on running the day-to-day family affairs but now the fee reduction is an open chance for them to join the cooperate and save money to grow,” he noted.

Rt. Rev. Sanctus Lino Wanok, the founder of the cooperative, rallied the public to join the cooperative to alleviate poverty.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic that negatively affected businesses, the time is now for people to head towards a direction that will make them easily assist one another, cooperate in business enterprises and alleviate poverty,” he said.

The man of God nudged the clergy to mobilize the community to join the cooperative to increase household income and improve their livelihoods.

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