The Uganda Parliamentary SACCO is set to write off loans worth Shs421.37m owed by three deceased MPs, including former Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Rehema Wetongola former Kamuli Municipality MP and Patrick Okabe former Serere County MP.
The revelation was made by Robert Migadde, Board Chairperson Uganda Parliamentary SACCO during the Annual General Meeting held at Parliament on Friday, where he noted that although the practice that has been used over time was to write off these loans, changes are being made to ensure that the loans are cleared through the shares the SACCO members own.
“While reviewing the SACCO’s policy on administration of the loan Protection Fund, we noticed that it was in conflict with the Co-operatives statute which requires the loan of a deceased members to be written against the shares and credit balances that the members to the loans of the following deceased members and has proceeded to write off the following loan balances against the loan protection fund; Jacob Oulanyah Shs294,918,413, Rehema Wetongola Shs3,093,535 and Patrick Okabe Shs123,361,493,” explained Migadde.
He added, “We lost MPs and there are loans that we are writing off and the members are indicated there and the total is Shs421.373M most of it will be covered by the loan Protection Fund.”
While addressing the members, Migadde also revealed that the SACCO’s portfolio grew from Shs47.334Bn in 2022 to Shs67.457Bn as at June 2023, while loans given to members also grew from Shs25.334Bn to Shs33.447Bn and the savings also increased from Shs29.363Bn to Shs47.577Bn.
Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa commended the SACCO leadership for the growth numbers reported and promised to get tips on how to grow his investments remarking, “I want to thank the leadership of the SACCO for the job well done to grow assets in these difficult times by Shs20Bn from Shs47Bn to Shs67Bn in one Financial year, it isn’t a mean achievement. I am an astute investor, I usually tell people that one of my talents is how to multiply money but I need to come to learn tricks from yo, it is unbelievable. I know how the markets have been performing.”
Tayebwa also urged the SACCO to consider forming its own Bank stating, “Looking at this SACCO which has assets of about Shs67Bn, this is huge, I think our target in the next 5years should be owning a bank, and I don’t know why we couldn’t make it because you only need to have a holding company, which holding company will own the bank and then you remain with the SACCO. I have seen some of the banks where you are fixing your money, they don’t have that money. So why can’t we make it so that each one of us can have a sense of ownership.”
There were also concerns raised about the stringent conditions set upon former MPs to secure the loans, including the requirement to secure 3active MPs as guarantors, a condition the ousted MPs described as discriminatory.
However, some former MPs shockingly defended the policy, saying some borrowers are slippery when it comes to payment of their loans and such a provision is necessary to protect savers funds.