Arua Mother City SACCO struggles to recover over shs140m
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
ARUA. The leaders of Arua mother city savings and credit cooperative (SACCO) in Arua city are struggling to recover over shs140m borrowed by its members.
The money was borrowed as loan by individuals and groups affiliated to the SACCO.
According to officials, some of the members have now defaulted for more than five years despite continued effort to ensure that they clear the monies borrowed.
Speaking to this reporter in an exclusive interview over the weekend, Salim Saleh Drasi, the Arua mother city SACCO manager said a total of shs147,259,700 is still lying in the hands of individuals and groups out there.
Drasi explained that they gave out loans worth shs124,759,700 to 92 groups while shs22,500,000 to individuals each to be paid back at an interest rate of only 10 per cent per annum.
Drasi, however, noted that since 2017 when the SACCO started giving out the money, some members have refused to pay back their loans.
As a result, he said they have formed a committee of loan officers that comprises group chairpersons to start recovering the monies from the members.
“These loan officers are the chairpersons of groups who have come up saying that people are not paying their money, they now want to be involved in collecting the loans. So, that is why we have given a chance to them to start following the loans in villages, at group levels and individual levels,” Drasi remarked.
Reima Atutua, the chairperson of the loan officers said they decided to take up the task of following up loan defaulters because there is now no more money to be given out to new members.
“Whenever, we come for meetings as individuals and groups, we realize that there is a challenge where people want loans but there is no money just because people who picked money were not paying back. Then as chairpersons, we had to form a team to follow up our members who are not paying back the money,” Atutua said.
She observed that her team has started approaching the loan defaulters who are now showing commitment to pay back the money.
Swali Atama, the Director of Arua Mother City SACCO said being an NRM mobilizer in the region, many loan beneficiaries think that the money they are picking was given by the government yet it is his personal initiative coupled with the shares given by the groups.
Atama urged members to consider fulfilling their loan obligations so that other members can also get the chance to access money from the SACCO.
Arua mother city SACCO which was started in 2009 has 7, 462 members with at least 97 different SACCO groups affiliated to it across the West Nile region.
Each SACCO group is entitled to a loan of either shs2.5m or shs5m from the mother SACCO.
The SACCO which has been a mobilization platform for President Museveni and the NRM party across the region is now struggling to survive due to unrecovered loans and lack of support from the government.
The leaders are now calling upon President Museveni to consider bailing them out with the pledge of shs1bn he promised to give the SACCO in phases of shs350m during the Late Ibrahim Abiriga’s reign as Arua Municipality MP.