The Program was launched in August 2019 as part of the government’s strategies to transform 68 per cent of Ugandan homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production. Rukiga district received 560 million Shillings to benefit 18 Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization or Society (SACCO) with 636 benefiting groups.
Alex Opira, the District Principal Commercial Officer told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that only one Sacco group has been able to meet all the necessary requirements under the Emyooga guidelines.
The Uganda Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) which is managing the funds says they have been overwhelmed by the numbers requesting for the money, yet the funds are limited. According to the centre, Emyooga was launched by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in August 2019 as part of government’s strategies to transform 68% of Ugandan homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production.
The two currently being held at Kihihi police station are Eliab Niwagaba, a radio presenter at Kinkizi FM radio, and also the chairperson of the association and his treasurer Ausi Senyunja who reportedly failed to account for shillings 13 million.
Several Small scale entrepreneurs interviewed by URN expressed disappointment at the way the packages are being handled by the responsible government officials, which has seen the beneficiaries either fail to get the funds or receive less than they expected.
The State Minister for Microfinance, Kyegune Haruna Kasolo told URN while in Kasese District on Wednesday that they decided to start monitoring activities to pick out all the concerns about the program and respond to them on time.
In a meeting with the members from the cultural institution and elders on Sunday evening, the Acting Executive Director Micro Finance Support Centre-MSC Hellen Petronilla Masika said they have given the kingdom special consideration given the multiple challenges including conflicts and disasters that has affected its economy.
The minister declared that the mobilization in these two districts beginning today starting with the business category of markets; government has put aside a special budget of 50 billion shillings to support this program.
Scovia Atim, the treasurer of Latuturu Saloon Operators comprising of 15 members in Omiya Anyima subcounty says they rejected the proposals of jointly owning account with group members from three other sub counties in Chua East over concerns of mistrust.
According to the breakdown, each group is entitled to 30 million Shillings and an allocation of 500 million Shillings is set aside for each constituency. However, a move by the government to allocate an additional 50 billion Shillings to Kampala and Wakiso districts has sparked criticism from Members of Parliament.
The Budget Committee members have raised concerns over the delayed distribution of the funds despite appropriation by parliament leading anxiety in the villages. While meeting Planning minister David Bahati the MPs also questioned the intent of government to allocate Shillings 50bn to Kampala during the campaign season.
It targets organized business groups involving women and youths mainly in the informal sector is meant to uplift the economic status of communities by reducing poverty at house-hold level. It’s also aimed at enhancing socio- economic transformation from subsistence to market oriented economy.
Kasolo says that the initiative targets SACCOs formed in 18 categories Boda Boda riders, Women Enterprises, Carpenters, tailors, mechanics, performing artists and fishermen among other groups will form SACCOs to access the capital.