By Jeff Andrew Lule
Government has embarked on a new move to support small medium enterprises to boost people’s household incomes as a way of promoting development and fight crime.
The program is to begin with Central region in Wakiso, Mpigi and Luwero districts.
Under the new initiative, beneficiaries must subscribe to a Savings And Credit Co-operative (SACCO) of not more than 30 people with defined projects.
The funds are to be channelled through “Gwewalabyeko Yemwana” SACCO as an umbrella body through which other groups will be accessing funds.
The DPC for Kasangati, Patrick Kawalya addressing the congregation during a meeting. Photo by Ronnie Kijjambu
About sh1bn is to be injected to benefit about 1,000 people.
Speaking during a training session on the new scheme in Kasangagti , Wakiso district, on Thursday, the facilitator of the program, Rev. James Goloba, said government decided to come up the new scheme following the collapse of other programs where funds were allegedly swindled without reaching the beneficiaries.
“That’s why "entandikwa" program failed. Funds used to disappear before reaching the beneficiaries. Now the President wants funds to be channelled directly to the common person,” he said.
“We are responsible for giving out loans, monitoring the projects and making sure money is paid back to benefit others.”
The loans are interest free, with a 10% saving in relation to their loans individually. They can decide when to withdraw their savings anytime,” he said.
Goloba said the 10% saving is aimed at promoting the culture of saving among people. He said they are also going to open up small banks in areas of operation to ease services.
The program is also aimed at fighting crime through creating employment for the unemployed youth.
“We want the youth to stop gambling and avoid false hopes which have pushed them into stealing and other weird characters. We are going to train them in business enterprise skills to start meaningful projects,” he added.
The coordinator of ‘Gwolabyeko ye Mwana’ Saving and Loan Society, Rev James Golooba addressing the congregation. Photo by Ronnie Kijjambu
The Police Commander, Kasangati Police, Patrick Kawalya asked people especially the youth to embraced the program.
“Development works closely with peace and security. We have many youth in crime due to lack of employment and I think this is a good idea to shape our people,” he added.
Aaron Twinomugisha 26, a resident in the area, said the program was going to help him boost his business.
“I just need more capital to expand my mash room business. I think this scheme is going to help if people join groups,” he said.
Michael Kule, a boda boda rider, said the scheme is to save them from high interest bank loans.
“Many people’s property have been confiscated by banks for failure of pay back on time. Others disappear and abandon their families in fear of being arrested,” he added.