RWAMAGANA - Local leaders in Rubona sector, Rwamagana district have been blamed for hindering the establishment of Umurenge SACCO savings scheme by ‘dissuading residents’ from joining.
Residents claim that the local leaders told them that it was not important to join SACCO, since they already had their own cooperative bank, COZEBU.
“Our well known chairman of COZEBU cooperative, Neimia Uwimana, and the former Rwamagana district vice Mayor in charge Economic Development, Jean Baptiste Ndanyuzwe, told us to remain in COZEBU and forget about SACCO,” Richard Ndahayo, a sector resident said at a meeting with local leaders on Friday.
Residents further claimed that they were told that even the Central Bank had agreed to have COZEBU as the only cooperative bank in Rubona.
The new Executive Secretary of Rubona, Daniel Karinganire, said leaders who misled the locals had ‘their own self interests’ at the expense of the government-initiated SACCO.
“We have only raised Rwf17,000 through SACCO, when our neighbours are in millions. You can imagine the negative impact the leaders have had on the project,” he said.
The District Executive Secretary, Geoffrey Mushaija, condemned people hindering the government’s programmes.
“The concept of Umurenge SACCO is clear and claim of ignorance at this time is not acceptable…look at your neighbours. Do you want to tell us that you don’t know what they are doing? You need to get it right,” Mushaija said.
He noted that Rubona lags behind in development compared to other sectors due to such attitudes, and urged residents to embrace Umurenge SACCO if they are to develop.
“COZEBU can co-exist with SACCO but it can never help us to develop all people in Rubona, since COZEBU has only 2000 members out of a population of 18,000, only a handful are actually benefiting,” he added.