By Spy Uganda
Fort Portal: Fort Portal Tourism City MP and two-term Chairman Rwenzori Region MPs Forum, Hon Alex Ruhunda Akiiki, commonly known as #Nikisoboka last week presented before the floor of Parliament a progressive report on the Emyooga program in the Rwenzori region, where he scorned the project citing a number of loopholes in preparation, execution and implementation of the whole project.
In a nutshell, to Ruhunda, this was simply a political gimmick meant to merely organize the village poor to come and eat in groups during poli-ticking season rather than grouping on developmental ideas, whereby, they themselves can even gather and collect the much-needed funds from themselves for as long as they have identified an idea from within them, that needs to collect funds.
While tabling his report before the floor of Parliament last Tuesday, Ruhunda challenged National leaders to be more ‘serious’ and realistic when committing taxpayers money, especially in such big multitudes. He also tasked them to seat with the locals to understand what type of intervention they would need as opposed to think for them.
”In all the entire Districts it was realized that the timing of the EMYOOGA program coincided with the political campaign period leading to the populace misconstruing it to be a political reward. In some instances, transfers of cash to accounts were done immediately after elections and as such, many beneficiaries saw it as a form of reward for ‘voting well’ (Akasiimo). This has greatly affected the program especially when it comes to loan recoveries,” noted Ruhunda.
It is from the above background that Ruhunda asked the Government to give enough adequate information to leaders for them to do proactive monitoring and evaluation of implementation so that we avoid a recurrence of doing postmortem as was done on Emyooga.
Ruhunda’s report also reveals that the higher commitment amount of saving required for associations (30%) to access a bigger loan from the seed capital is a big challenge and as such people end up taking loans of less than Ug.Shs.500,000 which cannot create much impact.
”The seed capital of 30m per Sacco was too small especially for associations with very many members e.g women entrepreneurs, local leaders, veterans, market vendors, and produce dealers whose composition is over 1000 members per group,” Ruhunda found out.
The report further reveals that the microfinance support centre that was supposed to pay monthly facilitation of 200,000 to each sub-county CDO and 300,000 to the district CDO and commercial officer, only paid CDOs in December 2020 and had over 7 months been claiming in arrears and this greatly affected the EMWOGA program.
The leader meanwhile observed that the local people should not continue to be excited and incited to just form groups for receiving money, but rather they form purposeful associations where they themselves collect the starting capital themselves and are supported along their way.