It appears every Member of Parliament in Uganda is servicing a loan, if a report from the Parliamentarians’ Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Limited (SACCOs) is anything to go by.
The SACCO, whose membership is largely comprised by lawmakers, is counting losses amounting Shs122.36m after three legislators passed on without servicing their loans.
The revelation was made by the SACCO’s Chairperson, Jalia Bintu, who is also the Masindi Woman MP during the SACCO’s 15th Annual General Meeting, held at Parliament Conference Hall on Friday.
She said that the SACCO has since “written off the following loans for our deceased members.”
She said Cyrus Amodoi, the former Toroma County MP, who died in a motor accident in March 2017 had picked a loan of Shs75.62m, while William Beijukye Zinkuratiire, former Ruhama County MP, who succumbed to Hepatitis B in November 2017 owed the SACCO Shs45m.
Former Buhaguzi County MP, Tom Kyahurwenda owed the SACCO Shs1.7m before his death in June 2018. Going by Bintu’s remarks, it means that the loans were not insured.
Bintu also announced that the Parliament SACCO Board has reviewed the interest rates effective October 08, 2018 with short term loans (up to 12months) accruing 16% pa, while long term loans (over 12months) will accrue 23% pa from 24%pa. Interest on fixing savings (12months) from 10%pa to 9%pa, interest on fixed savings (24-36months) from 11pa to 10%pa, interest on fixed savings (over 36months) from 12% to 11%pa and interest on regular savings stays at 6%pa.
Bintu said that the SACCO continues to meet all its members’ financial requirements despite the challenges.
She said the SACCO registered growth in loans from Shs12.3bn in 2016 to 19.1bn in 2017, while savings grew from Shs13.9bn to a whopping Shs23.8bn.
Held under the theme “Cooperation and Economic Transformation through Member driven Societies”, the AGM was opened by Speaker Rebecca, who rallied members of the SACCO to focus, have purpose and persevere if they are to benefit from this multimillion SACCO.
“How can you borrow not for investment but to spend? There is no certainty in 2021 that you will return to Parliament, so plan like you are not going to come back. Let’s plan how much we need to spend and save as much as we can. I encourage members to invest in our estate so that you can also have a house in Kampala,” Kadaga said.