The growth of Uganda Savings and Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) in Uganda can be attributed to a number of factors, ranging from strong regulatory framework to the performance output of the existing ones.
Different churches in Uganda have also established SACCOs for different developmnent purposes.
Established in 1997 as an initiative of West Ankole Diocese, Jubilee SACCO has grown in both numbers and portfolio.
It started with a few collections from the pay of the clergy, but the dream has grown into the Jubilee SACCO that it is today with four main branches of Bushenyi, Sheema, Mitooma and Rubirizi, with other out reaches, over 10,552 members, an asset value of close to UGX12bn, a share capital of Shs2.4bn, and a savings of Shs7.6bn.
The Vice President, H.E Jessica Alupo who was guest of honour at a Patron’s dinner held in Kampala. contributed shs20m to the seed capital and pledged to buy shares worth shs1Om.
She congratulated the members of the SACCO for the 25 years of existence and announced a renewed partnership between the church and the Government in carrying out developmental activities.
“The church from time immemorial has been working tirelessly with Government, in implementing different programs. Throughout the history of Uganda, religious institutions are key in establishment of programs and institutions that have produced very distinguished people.
As government, we value you and your efforts in the transformation of our country”, the Vice President remarked. “You are very valuable partners for the good of humanity”, she added.
Alupo expressed her appreciation to efforts by the Church, the Bishop and the members in multiplying the seed capital, the share capital and the membership.
“I want to encourage you to continue with the spirit of multiplying,” she said, while re-echoing the words by Prof Kamuntu, one of the attendees and a parishioner from West Ankole who had earlier said that the value if money increases when it is in circulation. “Multiply the money to keep it valuable”, he had remarked.
The Vice President also re-assured the audience of Government’s continued support to SACCOs, because, she said, people in the rural areas need a strong seed capital for their SACCOs to become stronger and to grow,while leaving no one behind.
In his remarks, Bishop Johnson Twinomujuni of West Ankole Diocese expressed his gratitude to the Vice President saying her presence signified her dedication to development.
“This is yet another time you are demonstrating love for Western Ankole in particular and thr church in general. Thank your Excellency for demonstrating good qualities of a leader”, he said.l, in a mark of gratitude.
The Bishop thanked the laity of West Ankole for being determined to bring development not just to Ankole, but to the entire country.
“Our country is going to greater heights because God has blessed our country. He has blessed us with fertility, richness and good people. There is solid hope and that this country is heading for a brighter tomorrow,” Bishop Twinomujuni said.
He thanked President Museveni who he said, he had briefed on the need for increased support to church SACCOs. “The President welcomed this idea and we look forward to it”. The Bishop added, as he expressed deeper sentiments. “Thank you for joining us to lighten our burden,” he said.
Bishop Twinomujuni also preached lightly, counseling the guests that for one to make it in life, “our duty is not to see through one another, but to hold one another and see them through”, Bishop Twinomujuni said.
The Chairman of the SACCO, Jonas Tumwine gave a detailed account, describing the SACCO as the business arm of the Church. “A wealthy Christian will Glorify God”, he said adding that Jubilee SACCO is growing the people. He gave an account of what transpired during the covid 19 pandemic when most of the members withdrew their savings. “People thought they were going to die, and withdrew what they had, we went back to our original intention, to help communities access affordable credit and alleviate poverty. It is also our effort to bring grassroot people into the money economy, hence establishing a seed fund of the Jubilee SACCO.”
Tumwine thanked Government for providing tranquility, where people are being able to do business uninterrupted.
Winston Katushabe, the Bishop’s nominee for the Kampala Chapter and organizer of the dinner announced a seed capital pledge of shs70m from members of the Kampala Chapter.
The Diocesan head of laity-Willis Bashaasha applauded the church in complimenting Government in fighting poverty. “We try to support the transformation journey to improve household incomes for better livelihoods”, Bashaasha remarked.
Several people made donations and contributions to what they describe as a SACCO with a Difference seeking to have an economically empowered Christian community.
Over UGX 200m was collected, including money from the Church emblem which was auctioned at the dinner.
“There are things that last forever. This is a treasure you can bequeath your children”, said Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu as he led the auction.