President closes AGARU SACCO AGM, warns politicians against loan repayment interference

Sunday 11th May 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has asked politicians to stop discouraging wanainchi from paying back the loans secured from Savings and Credit Co-operative Organizations (SACCOs) warning that the act is a serious offence.

“That is a serious offence. Uganda is not governed by politicians but by the Constitution and the Law. If you break the law, you can be in trouble”, he warned.

The President made the remarks yesterday while closing a 2-day Annual General Meeting of AGARU SACCO at Bishop Flynn Senior Secondary School in Amuru County of Pader district in Acholi Sub-Region. The Sub-Region comprises the districts of Agago, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwo, Nwoya and Pader.

He was reacting to a report presented by the Chairman, Board of AGARU SACCO, Mr. James Onyik about politicians’ discouragement of members of the SACCO from repaying loans.

The President warned politicians not to interfere with an important cause wanainchi are dealing with of saving and lending. He said if the Inspector General of Government (IGG) took up the matter and discovered that it was abuse of office, such politicians would be handled by the law.

Mr. Museveni who had just returned from Nairobi, Kenya, on an engagement aimed at modernizing the railway system in the East African Region, congratulated members of AGARU SACCO for taking the initiative of getting themselves out of poverty by pooling resources.

AGARU SACCO that was registered in 2001 now boasts of over 30,000 members and aims at providing them with sustainable financial services. The President donated Shs. 50 million to the SACCO.

He informed members of the SACCO that apart from their initiative, government was on its part sending money to districts annually through organizations like NAADS and Micro-Finance, among others, to assist wanainchi create wealth. He said that Pader district alone receives over Shs. 1billion through NAADS, Shs.187 million through Micro-Finance and over Shs.1.5 billion through the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF). He, therefore, noted that the only challenge was how to deliver these available funds to the beneficiaries.

The President re-assured the nation that NAADS’ current method of work will be stopped and a new strategy adopted.

He reminded the people of the Acholi Sub-Region in particular and Uganda in general, to heed the NRM 1996 manifesto advice to  engage in modern commercial evaluated agriculture that will generate wealth in each household.

He was also happy that the nodding disease had been contained as no new cases were reported and the management of the old cases and root causes of the disease as well as the mass treatment was ongoing.

He donated ox-ploughs to families of nodding disease patients and also Shs 2 million to Pader main market Women Vendors’ Association.

The President assured the people of the area the the road from Olwiyo to Kitgum via  Anaka and Gulu, will be tarmac.

Parliamentary Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, called on the people of Pader district and Acholi Sub-Region as a whole to appreciate and reciprocate the love shown to them by President Museveni and, solidly, support NRM government and its programs that are tailored to lead them to prosperity.

State Minister for Housing, Mr. Sam Engola, introduced to President Museveni, who is also the National Chairman of NRM, converts from the opposition parties. They included, among others, Mzee John Opio, the uncle of the area MP Odonga Otto, who crossed with his entire family to NRM. Others were the hitherto UPC Chairman of Pader district, Mr. Alex Oyo and his wife.

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