Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations (Sacco) members in Masindi District urge government to allocate them more funds to enable them bolster their businesses and income during this Covid-19 lockdown.
This was reached at by Boda-boda Riders Association and Masindi Mobile Vendors and Transporters Association during the launch of Covid-19 Lockdown Alleviation Project in Masindi at the Resident District Commissioner (RDC’s) office in Masindi Town.
The Covid-19 Lockdown Alleviation Project was established by the Director General of Internal Security Organisation (ISO) office on March 18, this year, after it was realised that many people had been affected by the lockdown that was imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Addressing members of the beneficiary Saccos, the Masindi RDC, Mr Martin Mugabi, said that the project targets boda-boda riders, market vendors, salon operators, carpenters and welders.
The RDC said that after thorough scrutiny, it was realised that only Boda-boda riders and mobile market vendors qualified for the money in Masindi district since they were found more organised than any the other category of the targeted people.
He revealed that the Boda-boda Sacco received Shs4m while Masindi Mobile Vendors and Transporters Association Sacco got Shs1m as grant.
Mr Mugabi called upon the beneficiaries to use the money properly so that they can benefit from it.
“You should not use this money for marrying or hiding it. Convene meetings, tell the members how much money you have got and discuss how you will use it. Convene meetings periodically and evaluate yourselves. You should also take your children to school because a boda-boda rider can bear an engineer, an MP and an RDC. It is only a pen that brings together the child of poor sit with the child of the rich.”
Although the Masindi Boda-boda Sacco chairperson, Mr Richard Tumwesige, hailed government for the grant that he said will help the members to borrow and boost their businesses, he asked for more funds saying the recently received money was inadequate for the many boda-boda riders who have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
“I kindly ask the government and anybody who can support, to assist the boda-boda riders. We hear support in Kampala but not in Masindi. This is the time for us also to be helped. We are financially strained. Most boda-boda motorcycles were taken away from the riders by their owners and financial institutions due to loans. The riders are being chased away from their rented rooms. This is the time for any wellwisher to come out and inject money into the boda-boda’s Sacco.”
Mr Alex Agaba, the Masindi Mobile Vendors and Transporters Sacco chairperson, said that life is hard for mobile traders in the district since they were the first to be stopped from working in the country and many of them are not working to date.
He appealed for more government support saying the lockdown has hit them hardest.
“Since government locked down mobile market vendors since March 18, we have until now never been allowed to operate. We urge the government to help us. Our group comprises women, men, widows and orphans but we are not working because government stopped us. We appeal to the government to render us financial and material assistance and also lift the ban on markets so that we can sustain ourselves like the rest,” he said.