Lira Produce SACCO requests MSC to probe Emyooga

LIRA – Lira Produce Dealers Cooperative Saving and Credit Society in Lira City have expressed their frustration to access emyooga funds.

The members numbering 180 say, the program which was targeting low-income earners was the best, but it has been messed up by greedy district officials and local leaders.

They insisted that Microfinance Support Center (MSC) should carry out a deep investigation and prosecute people found culpable of mismanaging emyooga programme.

Emyooga is a Runyankole dialect that refers to specialized skills enterprises and it was a presidential initiative aimed at wealth and job creation.

It was launched by President Museveni in August 2019 as part of the government’s continuous strategies to transform 68% of Ugandan homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production

Its main target was to increase employment, access to specialized financial services to rural areas particularly to women, youth, and persons with disabilities.

The group, according to Ogwal has 180 members and each contributed a recommended seed capital of Shs20, 000 making them realize Shs 2.6m. It was split into six smaller groups to ease the process and follow the SACCO’s guideline.

“We learnt that some people who are not members of Lira Produce Dealers were appointed by the District Commercial Officer to open and manage our account,” Patrick Ogwal, the Chairperson of the cooperative alleges in the letter, which was sent to MSC.

Ogwal says, MSC should probe the SACCOs that benefited from Emyooga and find out why the leadership of Lira produce dealers was sidelined.

“We condemn the corruption act perpetrated by the public officer and we reiterate that we will continue to seek justice in this matter unless it is addressed,” he concludes.

Patrick Okello, the Secretary of Lira Produce Dealers Cooperative and Saving Society, said on 23rd February that since last year their money is lying idle in the bank and they are stuck.

“We got stuck and decided to leave the money there idle,” Okello says.

Okello says, before they encountered the challenges, they were instructed by the District Commercial Officer (Juspine Alobo) to open a bigger account which would accommodate all these six groups.

Alobo, when contacted late last year, could not accept, or deny saying she was out of office and the right person to comment was Resident City Commissioner, Lawrence Egole.

Egole says, he had received a copy of the letter and would act on it accordingly.

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