BUSHENYI district has got the best performing Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations in the country. It has 72 SACCOs, with the best savings, highest share capital and highest loan portfolio.
At a glance, the SACCOs in Bushenyi have an average of sh350m in savings each, compared to SACCOs in Acholi and Lango (sh80m) or Buganda (sh200m).
Top SACCOs in Bushenyi, like Kitagata Financial Services Cooperative Society Ltd, has got a share capital of sh322m, voluntary savings of sh327m and a loan portfolio of sh698m from 2,833 members. Bugongi SACCO in Sheema has 2,257 members, sh22m savings, a share capital of sh330m and a loan portfolio of sh626m. Bunyaruguru has 2,060 members, savings of sh174m and a loan portfolio of sh289m.
SACCOs in Bushenyi have opened up branches in various parts of the sub-counties. For example, Mushanga, Shuuku, Bugongi SACCOs have more than two branches. The performance of these small branches is at the level of the performance of many lead SACCOs in other areas of the country.
There are several factors that have favoured SACCOs in Bushenyi. Most of the people in Bushenyi earn money from their farms on a daily or weekly basis. Bananas and cattle are found in every homestead. While most members in other parts of the country cannot save, at least 85% of SACCOs members in Bushenyi save.
â€œThis is important because it is membersâ€™ savings that make a SACCOs stronger,â€ explains Moses Kaggwa, commissioner, microfinance in the ministry of finance. There is also a stronger spirit of togetherness among the people of Bushenyi than anywhere else.
â€œMembers of these SACCOs were even reluctant to take the Governmentâ€™s money through the Microfinance Support Centre because they had money from their own savings,â€ said Bushenyi district LC5 chairman Longino Ndyanabo. Civil servants in the new districts have been encouraged to get their salaries through SACCOs.
According to the district commercial officer, David Byamukama, the situation is further helped by the fact that there are no â€˜political SACCOsâ€™ in Bushenyi. â€œWe left politics out of the formation of SACCOs. We realised that if politicians took centre stage in the SACCOs, they would become divisive,â€ he says.
However, most of the politicians are members of the SACCOs. MPs like Ephraim Kamuntu and Kabondo Tindamanyire have mobilised people for SACCOs.
SACCOs in Sheema have formed a union. â€œThere came challenges which will be solved by the formation of an apex body,â€ says Emmanuel Mwebesa, chairman Sheema Cooperative Savings and Credit Union. The group is composed of Shuuku SACCOs, Kitagata SACCO and Bugongi SACCO.
Among the challenges was that some members had joined all three SACCOs, hence getting multiple loans and failing to pay promptly. â€œWe realised that we had to create a way of monitoring our members,â€ he says.
He said that the other reasons for the creation of a union was to enable the SACCOs access big money for bigger funding, staff remuneration and stop multiple borrowing.
Bushenyi has the best performing SACCOs