What you need to know:
- Despite the challenges, Mr Kitara said the district has received more grants from the government for two enterprises amounting to Shs40 million.
The Gulu District Local Government has embarked on a move to recover Shs487.5m disbursed under the Emyooga programme.
In an interview with the Monitor at the weekend, Mr Patrick Kitara, the Gulu District Emyooga focal point person, said this initiative springs from the beneficiaries’ failure to refund money lent to them despite numerous warnings from authorities.
“We are going to arrest them and take them to the police where we will demand that they pay part of the money before being released after signing a commitment letter telling us when they will pay the balance,” Mr Kitara said.
He added that the district has 18 Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (Sacco) and has so far received a total of Shs686.5 million disbursed to 1,132 beneficiaries while struggling to recover Shs489.6 million.
“We have come to learn about issues of poor governance of the associations that are affecting the loan repayment because a loan committee chairman cannot collect loan when he or she still has his or her loan pending,” he said.
Despite the challenges, Mr Kitara said the district has received more grants from the government for two enterprises amounting to Shs40 million.
“The government has sent us more money for the fishermen and veterans’ associations with each receiving Shs20 million. But this time, we will require one to present collateral to get the loan so that when you fail to pay back, we collect the collateral that you have presented to us,” Mr Kitara said.
The Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr James Cosmas Okidi, said his office is aware of the defaulters.
“We will arrest you without excuse; this is a revolving fund and you must pay back because it is a loan, not a grant,” he said.
He added that the district has plans to hold discussions with the Sacco executives on the subject matter.
He also encouraged the Saccos to hold annual general meetings as soon as possible to prevent delays when releasing additional seed funds.
Emyooga is a presidential initiative which was launched in August 2019 as part of the broad government strategy. With a target to transform 68 percent of homesteads from subsistence to the market-oriented economy.