Ugandans are still poor because of their mindsets, the State Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo has said.
“The poor mindset is still a big problem. When government introduces programs, you don’t own them. When a cow is give you under the Operation Wealth Program, you think it is Museveni or government cow. When it falls sick, you call your leader asking them for money for its treatment,” Kasolo said on Thursday as he launched the presidential initiative on Emyooga at Masindi Municipal council headquarters.
Kasolo said that whereas government has in the past put in place several poverty alleviation programs, several people have remained poor because they have not owned the programs.
The minister explained that whereas the programs are meant to benefit members of the public, because of their poor mindset, many have refused to take them in as theirs.
“There is a lack of a sense of ownership for government programs. You must know that you are the government and the negative attitude is a disease keeping you poor. You should know that government programs are yours and you must guard them jealously,” he said.
“Money injected in these programs is your share that government gives back after collecting taxes from you. Even if you don’t have knowledge about a program, find out more information.”
Kasolo told leaders in Masindi that government has no ill-intention towards its people, urging that the public must always embrace government programs if they are to benefit.
Turning focus on the Emyooga, Kasolo said the program is not meant to dish out money to Ugandans but rather meant to ensure people are encouraged to some part of their earnings for future development.
He noted that the only way to wealth is through saving under saccos where members can borrow to finance development projects.
The Emyooga initiative targets Ugandans especially in the informal sector who come together in form of saccos under 19 clusters including Boda boda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants, welders, market vendors, women entrepreneurs, youth leaders, people with disabilities, journalists, performing artists, veterans, fishermen, private teachers and elected leaders.
Each of the saccos will receive shs30 million as seed capital, save for the private teachers and leaders that will each receive shs60 million and 50 million respectively.
The project is implemented by the Microfinance Support Centre.