The State Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kasolo has warned Kampala leaders, especially those from the opposition against politicizing government programs.
Kasolo made the remarks on Wednesday as he launched the Emyooga presidential initiative on wealth and job creation in Kampala district.
“The majority of the people in Kampala are poor because as leaders you have not done much to help them. You have not mobilized them towards useful ventures. You are only politicking. Parties will come and go but Kampala and its people will stay. The strong parry today will be the weakest tomorrow but the people will still be here,”Kasolo said.
“Let us forget political difference but help Ugandans who are languishing in poverty. We should provide solutions to their problems. This Emyooga program is supposed to solve those problems.”
The minister explained that whereas people of Kampala earn a lot of money, they are still complaining of poverty because they don’t save a percentage of what they earn.
He however noted that Kampala leaders have a duty to mobilise people to embrace government programs such as Emyooga that will ensure they get some wealth.
“The problem is lack of a saving culture. Ugandans earn money and are not poor but are not guided on how they can spend it. It is upon us leaders to guide them I don’t expect any of us to talk bad about this program. What we should do is to mobilise the public to come together and embrace the program.”
Kasolo said that the public should not look at the shs30 million that will be given to each sacco but rather the bigger picture of the money they can mobilise through saving.
The State Minister for Kampala, Benny Namugwanya noted that at 70%, the biggest percentage of Kampala’s population is involved in the informal sector noting that the new program will greatly benefit them.
“The people of Kampala need this program more than any other people in the country. As leaders of the city we have to put in a lot of effort to make sure the program is a success. The responsibility is ours to make sure the program succeeds,” Namugwanya noted.
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.
According to Alfred Eboku Ejanu, the head of Credit and Operations at the Microfinance Support Centre, they would help train sacco members on what to do, as one of the ways to ensure they become wealth and sustain themselves.
“The Microfinance Support Centre as the implementing agency will give skills in book keeping and financial discipline to all sacco members free of charge. The main objective is to ensure that sacco members can be self-sustainable as the project becomes a success,”Eboku said.
The program is part of the broader NRM principle of socio-economic transformation in which the government has committed 68% of the country’s homesteads, currently in the subsistence of market-oriented production.