The Microfinance Support Center-MSC in Rwenzori region is stuck with 3 billion shillings meant to be loaned out to Savings and Credits Cooperatives-SACCOs.
The centre is a government institution responsible for micro credit programmes under the Rural Financial Services Strategy. It facilitates SACCOs with loans to improve household incomes.
The support centre coordinates the credit support programme in Kabarole, Kasese, Kyejonjo, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and Kamwenge districts, where there are more than 50 SACCOs.
However, the centre has only managed to disburse 100 million shillings to eight Saccos in the past one year. Francis Mugisa, the manager of the centre says that some SACCOs, which applied for the funds had failed to meet the requirements. Beneficiaries SACCOs must be registered, have more than 300 members, basic start-up capital contributed by members and trained and competent staff.
Mugisa says that before they disburse money to any SACCO they first evaluate the capacity and management of the SACCOs. He explains that the failed to disburse money to some SACCOs because of their inability to manage the funds. Mugisacites Ntoroko SACCO in Ntoroko district in which members mismanaged the funds.
Faith Businge, the Manager of Nyabukara Sacco in Karambi Sub County admits that some members lack the capacity to manage the SACCOs in terms of finances.
She also says that the management of the Sacco has on several occasions convinced people to join but they have refused. Businge states that there is still need to sensitize people on the procedures of accessing and refunding the money, since most people think the money is a gift from government.
Steven Bagonza, the chairman Karambi SACCO accuses the microfinance centre of frustrating Saccos. Bagonza says that the criteria used when accessing the funds involves a lot of bureaucracy.
Bagonza says the Sacco was given a temporary registration certificate but the center still refused to give them funds. He says unless the criterion of lending funds is changed, poor people will be left out of the program.