The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (MODVA) and Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Cooperative, known as Wazalendo Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited (WSACCO) comprising of Seventy Thousand Eighty Seven (70,087) members, held its 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) under the theme: “ Empowering the Member to Realise his/her Networth and Belonging to WSACCO.”
The meeting of members, through their representatives, that ran from 25th-26th March 2019, at the Uganda Military Engineering College (UMEC) in Lugazi, Mukono District, was aimed at sharing and reviewing the performance and operations of WSACCO for the year ended (January to December 2018) and to forge a way forward for the coming year.
While opening the meeting, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) and Chief guest Gen David Muhoozi noted that WSACCO is like a teenager that has performed exceptionally well before becoming an adult.
“We have done well and we should maintain and improve the welfare of our members,” Gen Muhoozi told members, adding that it is the duty of the leadership to maintain the sound relationship with WSACCO to provide reliable solutions that can fight poverty.
He said there must be trust between the leadership and members to have a SACCO that can transform the lives of its members and not just accumulation of figures.
“We need to come up with smart innovations, build strong consensus with members, understand the critical importance of the SACCO and design simple and clear messages to all members for WSACCO to do even better,” the CDF observed.
Gen Muhoozi advised WSACCO Board, Supervisory Committee (SUPCO) and Management to work together so as to realize the objectives of the WSACCO. He further encouraged members to invest in assets that generate income (commercial buildings) as opposed to investment in luxurious items that score short term benefits.
According to the WSACCO Board Chairman and Deputy Commander Land Forces, Maj Gen Sam Kavuma, WSACCO provides an opportunity for the UPDF fraternity to come together and accumulate a fund that will better their welfare and prepare them for life after retirement.
He noted that with effect from the 12th AGM at Colline Hotel in Mukono, the society’s monthly retirement savings on salary increased from 7% to 10% which were followed by a reduction in the refinancing period from 75% to 50% and a reduction in interest rates from 15% to 13% with effect from July 2018.
Maj Gen Kavuma added that the society’s asset base stood at 271.1billion against 219.1billion in the last financial year and mainly attributed this growth to the rolled-out re-financing that enabled members to access more loans on top of their existing loans.
He further encouraged members to continue saving tirelessly by revisiting their enterprise selection and investing in real assets that generate income to fill the liquidity shortfall. “Any Ugandan who exploits the country’s green cover, fertile soils, favorable climate, abundant water, forests and mountains, cannot fail to improve their welfare,” remarked Maj Gen Kavuma, adding that avoiding expenditure on fancy appliances and liabilities like luxurious cars will steer WSACCO members to a better economic status.
He mentioned that 17.6% of the net surplus in form of dividends will be payment to all fully paid up members. The Board Chairman decried the high rate of Absenteeism, technological challenges and retirement despite the reduced interest rates and surplus of 31.62 billion.
The Chief Executive Officer of WSACCO Brig Simon Ocan appreciated the Supervisory Committee (SUPCO) for their supervisory role, and the team spirit from the Management staffs who performed the assigned tasks and registered remarkable achievements.
He noted that the WSACCO registered numerous achievements despite the existing challenges like failure on delivery of new ATM cards, poor service delivery on the OTC platform by Post Bank Uganda and the halt on WazaMobile services by M/S Neptune and MTN in mid-December 2018.
He, however, called upon the UPDF leadership, Board, Management team and elected delegates to emphasize mobilization and sensitization of SACCO members especially in areas of accumulating savings, financial literacy and investment.
Members adopted and approved the proposal to issue bonuses to shareholders by appreciating the share value from UGX 10,000 to 15,000, extending the maximum loan period from 4 to 5 years, increasing the loan size from UGX 40m to UGX 80m, among others.
Brig Johnson Namanya was recognized as the highest total depositor for 2018, WO1 Omondi Kola Peter was the most successful loan user while Ms Grace Kansime emerged best depositor for 2018 among the civilians.
MTN also recognized some Commanders and Chiefs for their exemplary service to the nation.
The 13th WSACCO meeting was also graced by the attendance of the Deputy CDF Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi, UPDF Joint Chief of Staff Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, Commander Special Forces Command Maj Gen Don Nabasa, representatives from Uganda Prisons Service and various financial institutions, and local leaders, among others.