By Witness Editorial
Members of Parliament in Masaka city were shocked to learn that some of the SAACOS that received Emyooga funds were not registered. This was during their engagement with officials from Micro-finance support center zonal office, Masaka city technical staff and local leaders in the city.
The legislators led by the Leader of the Opposition Mathias Mpuuga quizzed officials on the entire disbursement of the funds from the time of forming SAACOs, Associations to the time of disbursement of money from government and giving out loans to the individual members of the associations.
The leader of opposition was escorted by Dr Abed Bwanika (Mp Kinmanay –Kabonera), Juliet Kakande (woman Mp Masaka city), Masaka city mayor Florence Namayanja and Mayor Nyedno-Mukungwe division Mulindwa Nnakumusana .
According to Mpuuga , in their interaction with officials they have since learnt that the funds were given to ghost SACCOs on orders from state Minister for Micro finance Harunah Kyeyune Kasolo and the funds were reimbursed on accounts of SAACOs at election day eve.
“The Micro finance support center zonal manager made it clear to us and read a letter from the state minister for micro finance directing banks to open accounts for non-existing SACCOs,” he said
He noted that the whole progarmme was botched up programme in terms of concept noting that the conceptual framework was wrong and the formation documents that formed the task force chaired by Resident District commissioners who can hardly reach out to communities to take up commercial programmers.
Mpuuga reasoned that Emyooga initiative had a lot of partisan inclination to the extent that the whole idea lost sense.
‘’ We have established that in the duo course nonexistent SACCOs were given Money and some people helped them to open accounts without proper formation documents and supposed members found money on the accounts , we are going to make recommendations to parliament and people involved this fraud will be investigated,” he said
Dr Abed Bwanika said he has fully investigated the entire progarmme in his constituency and noted that out of 8 SACCOS that received money in Kimanya –Kabonera only four had used money and the other four SACCOs money is still lying idle on the accounts.
“A lot of funds are lying idle on accounts of SACCOs un utilized and we are wondering whether the disbursed money is serving the intended purpose to the beneficiaries,” Dr Abed wondered
Ms Juliet Kakande the woman Mp Masaka city said that her engagements with SACCOs established favoritism in SACCOs where by one SACCO in Kimanay –Kabonera under the media SACCO is comprised of members from one Media house.
“We thought that the initiative will be inclusive and accommodate all people involved in the same profession or occupation but we have since established that some organizations manned SACCOs and are benefiting alone,”
She said that such and other anomalies in Emyooga will define the recommendations they will present to the parliament to see the way forward.
However Wilfred Katobe manager Micro Finance Masaka zonal office noted that SACCOs received money before formally registering but they later formalized and obtained pre-requisites before accessing the money.
“ Its true funds were disbursed before formalization of SACCOs but later they formalized and those ones that haven’t formalized yet are the one whose money are still lying idle on their accounts,” he said
He said the initiative is progressing well and 80 percent of SACCOs accessed funds and they are considering recovering the loans asking leaders not to politicize projects aimed at empowering Ugandans Financially.
Masaka city has 24 Emyooga SACCOs, which are comprised of 650 associations 15 of them are in Nyendo-Mukungwe and eight are in Kimanya –Kabonera.
Masaka city received shs 1.2 billion and Kimanay- Kabonera got shs 560M while Nyendo –Mukungwe got shs 560M as well which prompted legislators to question how the two constituencies can receive equal money when Kimanay –Kabonera has a few SACCOs.
According to Katobe ,Masaka sub region got shs 11.32b that was disbursed in 9 district of the region.