Hoima District Referees SACCO suffers financial distress as a result of Covid-19

HOIMA – The mandatory Covid-19 lockdown has finally taken its toll on referees as games and sports resumed under strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Last week, Hoima District Referees Saving and Credit Cooperative Society’s (SACCO), Board of Directors convened a meeting and made several resolutions to save the SACCO from distressing financial challenges.

Speaking to theCooperator, the referees SACCO Board Chairman, Patrick Kunihira explained that the board meeting agreed that the SACCO suspends the giving out of new loans to the members.

He added that during this period, the SACCO will only give members their savings. Members will be allowed to get half of their savings to ensure that the SACCO continues to survive.

He further added that the board also agreed to reduce on the expenditures which the SACCO office has been incurring such as allowances.

Kunihira explained that during the meeting they also resolved to cut the salaries of their workers and allowed workers to work in shifts.

He also said that some members are failing to save or pay back loans largely due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

“You know SACCOs survive on the savings of members but because of the Covid-19 lockdown, our members are no longer saving and those who took the loans are not paying back and such challenges are affecting our SACCO,” he said adding that they have hope that the measures put in place will save the SACCO from facing more financial challenges.

He challenged members who are still earning, something in this period to continue saving and appealed to those members who took the loans to try and pay back the loans to secure their SACCO.

Francis Bagonza, Chairman Investments said that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected several investment plans. He noted that the SACCO had a plan of establishing a depot and to have a means of transport but all these plans have been frustrated by Covid-19 because the SACCO is not making money as they anticipated.

He added that the SACCO had started a Sports club bar but unfortunately this business shut down following the closure of bars by the president to reduce the rates of Covid-19 infections.

However, Bagonza said that before the situation worsened, the SACCO had invested in tree planting projects adding that the SACCO currently has five acres of titled land with Eucalyptus trees.

Philip Tibaigana, the SACCO Manager expressed dismay that the SACCO applied for a loan of Shs 50 millions from the Microfinance Support Center (MSC) to boost them but their request was not honoured despite having fulfilled the requirements.


In the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held early April 2021, the SACCO which started in 2015 had registered 112 members and given out Shs 279m in loans.

The SACCO had Shs 330 million in savings and Shs 22 million in shares.

Derrick Matsiko, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Microfinance Support Center, Bunyoro region said, that several organizations including SACCOs are facing financial distress due to the Covid-19 lock down.

He says that, it is high time SACCO leaders ensured drastic measures to avoid the collapse of their organizations; adding that management thought it wise that Hoima district referees put in place measures of saving their SACCO from facing further financial challenges.

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