Councillors from Masindi municipality are disappointed by the delayed disbursement of over Shs 500m meant to fund more than 10 Emyooga SACCOs in Masindi Municipality.
The Councillors, who expressed their discontent at a full Council sitting last Thursday, reported that the SACCOs have received the money on their accounts but are as yet unable to access it.
“I want the leader of government business to tell this Council the cause of this delay,” demanded Fatuma Nyangoma, the Councillor representing Bigando Ward.
However, Deputy Mayor, Zaina Byenkya, said she had no clear information on the matter and asked the Town Clerk to respond to the query.
In his response, Deo Kabugo, the Masindi Municipality Town Clerk blamed the delay on challenges with Post Bank, in which the SACCOs’ accounts are held.
“The money is on the SACCOs’ accounts and people should remain calm. When the issues are settled members will receive the money,” Kabugo assured the meeting.
The delay has affected over 50 SACCOs across Masindi district and frustrated hundreds of their members.
“The money is on our accounts, but whenever we want to access it in Post Bank, we are turned down. What is the motive behind this delay?” wondered one SACCO member who spoke to theCooperator on condition of anonymity.
Two weeks ago, Moses Kalyegira the Masindi District Commercial Officer told theCooperator that 54 Emyooga SACCOs had received Shs 1.6bn but members could not access it until their SACCOs had presented a certificate of registration.
He explained that the requirement to present the certificates, which was supposed to have been done prior to account opening, had been waived temporarily at the time, with the understanding that the SACCOs would acquire them before accessing funds.
Speaking at the time, Kalyegira intimated:
“The SACCOs were given a go-ahead to open bank accounts without certificates of registration because the State minister for Microfinance, Harunah Kyeyune Kasolo, wrote to the banks requesting them to allow the SACCOs to open the accounts without them,” and pledged that the SACCOs’ Managers would soon be able to access their money.
Registered; still no money
However, whereas the certificates of registration were issued two weeks ago, no SACCO has been able to access the money so far.
Earlier on Wednesday, different leaders, including the Masindi district RDC, the Manager Post Bank where the money is being held, the officials from the Microfinance support centre, Emyooga SACCO leaders and other stakeholders, held a closed-door meeting on how to handle the delay.
According to impeccable sources who were in attendance, the meeting was assured that SACCOs would soon be able to access the money.
Emyooga is Presidential Cluster Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation (Emyooga) and it was launched in the Bunyoro sub-region by State Minister for Microfinance, Harunah Kasolo Kyeyune last year.
At the time, the Minister revealed that government would inject Shs 620m into each constituency to fund businesses under 19 selected clusters that include Boda-boda riders, Salon Owners, Carpenters, Taxi Operators, Welders, Market Vendors, Journalists, Performing Artists and Mechanics, among others.
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