Haruna Kasolo, the state minister in charge of microfinance, has given Emyooga defaulters in the Amuria area a 30-day deadline to repay the outstanding amount of shillings 700 million or risk being arrested.
In an effort to reduce poverty, the government provided savings groups with seed money of shillings 30 million apiece in 2019.
The government targeted eighteen different groups of people, including carpenters, tailors, artists, market vendors, boda boda riders, and journalists.
Richard Okodel, the district’s commercial officer, claims that although the district received shillings one billion and ninety million, only thirty-nine million have been recovered since the funds were disbursed to the savings clubs three years ago.
According to Okodel, “the majority of people mistook the money as a thank you from President Yoweri Museveni for their vote, while others used the money for purposes other than those intended.”
When Kasolo visited the Amuria region on Tuesday, he gave the order that anyone who did not pay the debt within 30 days would be detained.
The minister has directed Lillian Eyal, the resident district commissioner, and law enforcement to monitor defaulters’ repayment of granted funds, with the expectation that any who fail to do so will be taken into custody.
“For some of your friends who did not receive it, I would like to take that money away from you, but not for you. Kasolo stated, “This is a revolving fund that needs to reach out to everybody.”
“I’m giving you only 30 days to repay the money if you know that you took it for more than two years.” No quick cut or justification exists,” Kasolo declared.
He clarified that individuals shouldn’t use COVID-19 as an excuse, as some people had claimed, because it had compelled them to spend the money because the nation was under lockdown.
“You shouldn’t bring up COVID-19 issues because some people were able to pay; where were they in the area where COVID-19 never made an appearance?” Kasolo enquired.
He stated that the district will not receive the additional twenty million shillings that the President has ordered added to the SACCOS, adding that recipients must demonstrate the use of the monies that were previously supplied to them.