Two days after cabinet accepted the resignation of Joseph Murekeraho as the Executive Chairman of Umwalimu SACCO, the seasoned educationist said he stepped down because he believed that the mandate for which his office was established had been accomplished.
But the former minister also hinted on a possibility of frustration from the regulator of such credit schemes, the Central bank, which partly could have forced him to throw in the towel.
During an interview with The New Times, yesterday, Murekeraho said that his office was created to allow him initiate and implement the Teachers’ savings and credit cooperative since he was the brain behind the idea.
“I got this idea when I was still State Minister, and government decided to create this office so I can be able to initiate the institution,” said Murekeraho.
“One year down the road, I believe I have laid the foundation of the institution and it can continue its operations even when I leave.”
He said that since the Executive Chair does not exist by law, it was high time for him to quit, given that he had accomplished the task of setting up the institution.
“The institution is well established now--it is also becoming stronger each day as more teachers are joining it. So I think my mission has been accomplished.”
He however said that some misunderstandings between him and the regulating organ, the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) were also among the reasons for his resignation.
“I had some misunderstandings with BNR on some internal issues concerning the operation of the cooperative like any other microfinance,” he said without elaborating the nature of the wrangles with the Central Bank.
Meanwhile, contrary to what we reported yesterday, Umwalimu SACCO has over the past year accumulated to 41, 000 members in 16 branches around the country which are networked online.
The cooperative has been able to give loans to 13, 200 teachers since its operations started and it has already disbursed close to Rwf2 billion in loans.
The Cooperative also has a total of Rwf1.6 billion in savings by the members.
Umwalimu SACCO plans to have at least opened 30 branches around the country by 2010.