Microfinance State Minister Haruna Kasolo has given Emyooga program defaulters in Amuria district a 30-day deadline to repay over 700 million shillings or risk being arrested.
In 2019, the government provided seed capital of 30 million shillings to savings groups with the goal of alleviating poverty. These groups encompassed 18 categories of individuals, including tailors, artists, market vendors, bodaboda riders, carpenters, and journalists.
However, according to Commercial Officer Richard Okodel, the district initially received 1 billion and ninety million shillings. Still, since the distribution of the funds to the savings groups three years ago, only 309 million shillings has been recovered.
Okodel explained that some people misunderstood the money’s purpose, perceiving it as a token of appreciation from President Yoweri Museveni for their votes, while others used the money for unintended purposes.
During his visit to Amuria district on Tuesday, Minister Kasolo directed that all defaulters must repay the money within 30 days or face arrest. He instructed Resident District Commissioner Lillian Eyal and the police to monitor the repayment progress and arrest those who fail to comply.
Kasolo emphasized the importance of the revolving fund reaching all beneficiaries and issued a stern warning: “If you know that you’ve held the money for over two years, you have only 30 days to repay. There are no shortcuts or excuses.”
Regarding the impact of COVID-19, Kasolo dismissed the idea that the pandemic forced people to use the money prematurely, pointing out that there were individuals who managed to repay the funds despite the pandemic.
He also stated that the district would not receive an additional 20 million shillings that the President ordered to be added to the SACCOS unless the beneficiaries demonstrate the results of the previously disbursed funds.