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Massive withdrawals threaten police Sacco

Police Sacco annual general meeting

Police Sacco annual general meeting

The continuous withdrawal of their savings is posing a significant threat to the existence of the police's Exodus savings and credit cooperation organization (Sacco), officials have warned.

Established in 2007 during the tenure of Gen Edward Kale Kayihura as Inspector General of Police (IGP), Exodus aims to provide affordable and low-interest loans to members of the police force. According to Wilson Omoding, chairman of Exodus and also the deputy director of police operations, withdrawals have consistently remained high, accounting for over 69 per cent of the total deposits every month.

"The Sacco has achieved significant growth in its loan portfolio, with a 48 per cent increase, reaching Shs 45.8 billion. Savings withdrawals remained high at approximately Shs 557 million per month, constituting over 69 per cent of deposits during the period. Loan disbursement totalled Shs 28.69 billion with total assets reaching Shs 69.97 billion,” Omoding said. 

His remarks came in response to a recent inquiry by the parliamentary committee on defence and internal affairs, which uncovered irregularities primarily affecting police officers recruited into the force from 2015 onwards. The parliamentary probe revealed that junior-ranking officers, who represent more than 91.6 per cent of Exodus Sacco's membership, were allegedly coerced into joining the savings scheme against their will. 

Some officers claimed they were pressured into joining the Sacco upon completing their training, with refusal resulting in difficulties obtaining necessary documents from superiors for accessing loans from other financial institutions.  

“…those who vehemently refused to fill out forms for membership were held at ransom whenever they needed letters of undertaking from their superiors, following their need to access loans from other financial institutions. In such cases, letters of undertaking could only be issued to respective officers on condition that they filled out forms and formally joined the Exodus Sacco,” parliament reads in part. 

However, Omoding clarified that the parliamentary investigation did not fully consider the progress and challenges faced by Exodus Sacco since he assumed the chairmanship in 2020.

“Exodus Sacco operates per the cooperative principle of autonomy and independence. The Sacco is an autonomous, self-help organization controlled by its members, with no interference from police management. It operates under the patronage of the Uganda Police Force to improve officers’ welfare,” Omoding said.     

Mary Nankinga, a member of Exodus Sacco, echoed Omoding's sentiments, highlighting the organization's stability and financial growth over the past three years. Despite challenges such as retirements and voluntary exits leading to a slight decrease in membership, Nankinga emphasized the Sacco's commitment to transparency, accountability, and member autonomy. 

“The Sacco engages its members directly through various channels such as board, management, delegates, community liaison officers (CLOs), and unit commanders, providing updates on Sacco developments, including shares, savings, loan products, system upgrades, and addressing member concerns,” Nankinga said.

In response to the parliamentary inquiry, Exodus Sacco management has corresponded with the registrar of cooperatives, providing documentation addressing the issues raised. Additionally, they have communicated with the police council, underlining the Sacco's establishment by council resolution in 2007.

Comments

+1 #1 Kalibbala 2024-02-24 20:14
Dear Policemen/ Women I Hear by Appeal to You to Withdraw all your Money From All Saccos and Saving Accounts or Else Mujja Kukifuuwa nga Mukizza Munda!

NSSF Scandal ! It Was Workers Money being Stolen!! OPM Scandal ! Kazinda is Still Prison but a very Rich Man! Watch Out! Embuulire tefa Yonna..
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0 #2 Lakwena 2024-02-26 07:25
In other words, maybe the officers have already arrived in the "Promised Land of Milk and Honey"; therefore no need continuing saving as if still in the Exodus Transit.
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