Kampala: The State Minister for Finance in-charge of Microfinance, Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo has revealed that government has injected shs30 billion as part of the Emyooga presidential initiative for job and wealth creation in the central business district of Kampala.
“Whereas in other areas, SACCOs are formed at constituency level, in Kampala, the 18 SACCOs are formed at the Parish level. For taxi drivers, their SACCO will not be at the parish but rather in four taxi parks. For Boda-Bodas, the stages in each Parish will become the SACCO,” Kasolo said on Monday during the launch of the initiative in Makindye division.
Explaining the special status, Minister Kasolo said whereas both Kampala and Wakiso had been given shs40 billion, Kampala got a lion’s share of shs30 billion.
Kasolo, however, aimed a dig at the people of Kampala whom he accused of being used to handouts that he said have not helped them get out of poverty.
“The biggest problem of the people of Kampala is their mindset. You believe in free money but even if you got it, it has not helped you. You need to be prepared on how to use money or else you will never become rich even if billions and billions of money are injected,” Kasolo said.
“This is a government program and not meant to campaign. It is not for NRM people only but everyone in Kampala. You are sitting on wealth but you didn’t know. This program if embraced by everyone will ensure you are wealth,” Kasolo said.
Explaining the main item behind the project, Kasolo said that the people of Kampala can only benefit from it through saving and not looking at the shs30 million seed capital that government is to inject in each SACCO.
“For me, I am looking at the much more money you can raise by saving in your SACCOs and not the shs30 million that we are giving you. You can save a lot and borrow from your own SACCO for your own development. The shs30 million is only seed capital to assist you but don’t look at it as the way to get you out of poverty. You have to save a little of what you earn,” he said.
The Emyooga initiative targets Ugandans especially in the informal sector who come together in form of SACCOs under 19 clusters including Boda Boda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants, welders, market vendors, women entrepreneurs, youth leaders, people with disabilities, journalists, performing artists, veterans, fishermen, private teachers and elected leaders.
Each of the SACCOs will receive shs30 million as seed capital, save for the private teachers and leaders that will each receive shs60 million and 50 million respectively.
The program is part of the broader NRM principle of socio-economic transformation in which the government has committed 68% of the country’s homesteads, currently in the subsistence of market-oriented production.
The money for Kampala and Wakiso was requested through a supplementary budget that was presented to Parliament last week by the finance ministry and Parliament is yet to approve the supplementary.
Kasolo said the rest of the districts will receive their share at constituency level, each of the 353 constituencies has been allocated sh560m.
“We have the money and we shall start distributing it next week. Many people have been complaining about the delays, but we needed to first teach people how to save and how to invest this money, unlike other government grants, the Emyooga money will not be sent to the districts, but directly to the beneficiaries’ accounts in a commercial bank and this means only those with bank accounts and organised in groups will receive the money,” Kasolo said.
According to the minister, they are currently 400 SACCOS that have registered for the Emyooga funds. Asked why Kampala and Wakiso were given special treatment, Kasolo said: “Kampala and Wakiso districts are the heart of Uganda.”