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Generals Elwelu, Kayihuura and Kavuma challenge Wazalendo Sacco on individual incomes

Elwelu speaking in Jinja. PHOTO URN

Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Former Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, has urged the leadership of Wazalendo to prioritize the economic advancement of all its members, regardless of their ranks within the UPDF. Speaking at the Wazalendo annual general meeting held at Jingo City’s Gaddafi Garrison, Elwelu emphasized the need for entities like Wazalendo to ensure that all members benefit economically, rather than just focusing on the group’s success.

Despite Wazalendo boasting a loan portfolio of Shillings 2.5 Trillion, reports indicate that many members are struggling to engage in profitable ventures, leading to visible poverty among them. Elwelu stressed that the Sacco leadership must invest wisely and provide financial literacy training to members, enabling them to make purposeful investments with high returns.

Additionally, Lt. Gen. Sam Kavuma, the Sacco’s chairman, expressed concern about the number of members experiencing poverty despite Wazalendo’s status as the sixth most powerful Sacco in Africa. He pledged to investigate this issue and implement measures to improve members’ incomes.

Retired UPDF General Kale Kayihura suggested that Wazalendo focus on offering long-term loans for agribusiness enterprises, which are known for their profitability. He highlighted the challenges faced by soldiers and veterans who rely on commercial bank loans with unrealistic terms, emphasizing the need for fair borrowing terms negotiated by Wazalendo.

“The interests and terms on loans from commercial banks are so unrealistic, with most of these financial institutions requiring borrowers to start loan repayments in a period of six months after acquiring credit, yet the production of some crops like bananas, coffee, cocoa, among others take between 2-5 years to mature for harvesting,” he said.

Joseph Onata, Sacco’s CEO, acknowledged the challenge of losing funds to deserters and revealed plans to collaborate with UPDF leadership to recover these funds. Meanwhile, Elwelu called for a thorough assessment of desertion’s impact on force numbers and proposed engaging deserters to understand their reasons for leaving and find solutions.



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