President Yoweri Museveni has said that the government, through the Central Bank, will start to directly give low interest finances to credible micro-credit Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs) in the country that have been using loans from commercial banks. He said that the move would enable SACCOs to access low interest rate loans to their members, especially the rural poor, who are fighting to overcome poverty.
The President made the revelation at a public rally held yesterday at Kaswa Primary School grounds in Kinoni Town Council, Bukoto South Constituency in Lwengo District in Greater Masaka area after opening a women’s bank known as Rural Women Micro-Finance Ltd.
Mr. Museveni said that although most micro-credit associations and SACCOs have a large membership, have accumulated a lot of share capital and enjoy sufficient capacity to run themselves, they are at the same time constrained by lack of sufficient resources to lend to their members which makes to rely on loans from commercial banks that levy high interest rates that cannot help the poor in the poverty eradication drive.
He said that the government fully appreciates the importance of accessing cheap sources of working capital by the population in the struggle against poverty. Therefore, he said, as such funds are available to government, they should be directly extended to credible micro-credit institutions that are devoted to fighting poverty among the population.
The President, who had earlier commissioned a water project that will supply piped water to a number of areas in Bukoto Constituency, such as Kaswa and Senge, among others, said that although the government is on track in spearheading development in the country through the development of the necessary infrastructure, if the population don’t play their part to eliminate household poverty, the country will not attain her much desired prosperity.
Regarding the sector of education, Mr. Museveni sounded a strong warning to head teachers who continue levying fees in Universal Primary and Secondary Education schools saying stressing severe reprimand awaits those involved. He, therefore, urged Movement leaders and the newly elected Local Councils to use their proximity to the population to stamp out the vice from schools.
The President expressed happiness to note that crime had gone down in Greater Masaka area following the intensification of operations by the security agencies in various places of Greater Masaka. He attributed the wave of crime in the past few months to the infiltration of the Police by criminals. He, however, assured citizens of security in the country because the Government has taken many interventions to ensure sanity.
Mr. Museveni commended the people of Lwengo District for the support to the Movement right from the time of the revolutionary struggle to the subsequent elections overtime. He informed them that their support and that of other Ugandans has enabled the Movement to unite all Ugandans behind a non-sectarian ideology and guarantee peace, security and development of the country.
Bukoto South MP, Hajji Muyanja Mbabali, said the newly commissioned Rural Women Micro-Finance platform does not take collateral security while giving loans to members because their SACCOs are their guarantors. He revealed that the bank membership is drawn from ordinary traders, farmers, artisans and boda-boda cyclists who are mostly low-income earners.