By Zalimon Basighalha (Goodluck)
Mbarara Zone formerly known as the Ankole Region has registered success in the implementation of the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation (Emyooga).
The Emyooga programme was launched by the President of Uganda, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in August 2019 as part of the Government’s effort towards fighting poverty from at household levels and encouraging the people from depending on subsistence farming to the market oriented production.
Now, Mbarara zone which has 12 districts and one City including Mbarara, Kazo, Kiruhura, Rubirizi, Sheema, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Ibanda and Bushenyi districts. Others are Sheema, Ntungamo, Bushenyi – Ishaka Municipalities and Mbarara City.
David Byamukama, a Consultant for the Emyooga SACCO Mbarara Zone says that they have at total of 243,000 associations that make up 62 Emyooga SACCOs.
Speaking to our reporter shortly after a two –day Emyooga Programme Sustainable Training of Trainers’ Workshop at Adit Mall in Mbarara City explained that the zone has managed to sustain and maintain the Emyooga because the people in the region already had the knowledge about SACCO management by the time the Programme was introduced.
Andrew Zzimbe, the Zonal Manager, said that the zone received shillings 19.1 billion, adding that it has been properly utilized by the members. He, however, claimed that the Covid-19 lockdown partly affected their activities.
Zzimbe quickly named the best performers in the zone as Isingiro North Produce Dealers Emyooga SACCO, Bushenyi Municipal Local Leaders’ Emyooga SACCO, Bukanga North Women Entrepreneurs Emyooga SACCO and Sheema North Produce Dealers Emyooga SACCO.
As a way of appreciating the groups for the nice performance, the Microfinance Support Centre awarded ten people including the District Commercial Officers and District Community Development Officers of the best performing SACCOs with shillings 500,000 each.
The money was handed over to the beneficiaries by Helen Petronilla Masika, the Deputy Executive Director Microfinance Support centre, who explained that the prizes were a sign of appreciation as well as motivating other Commercial Officers and Community Development Officers to monitor all government funds especially the Emyooga money.
Commenting about the ongoing countrywide trainings, Masika explained that they are aimed at imparting knowledge to the Emyooga SACCO leaders and the parish based association leaders for proper management and governance of their groups.
She strongly warned the participants against soliciting money from the SACCO members while training them. Masika said that whoever would be found in the act, would be arrested and face the law.