The Minister of State for Defence (Defence) Hon. Jacob Oboth Oboth has commended Wazalendo Savings and Credit Cooperative Society for its interventions towards addressing the welfare of soldiers and the milestones registered in the shortest period of its existence.
Hon. Oboth who represented the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja was yesterday (24 March 2023) speaking at the 17th Annual General Meeting of Wazalendo that was held in Gaddafi Barracks, Jinja under the theme; “Growing Membership for Sustainability.”
“I am so excited that Wazalendo has become a game changer in the question of addressing welfare for the UPDF personnel. UPDF has fought several wars and won them all. I am proud that now they can gather here to discuss the economics,” said Hon. Oboth.
Hon Oboth applauded the Board of Directors (BOD) and Management for steering Wazalendo to become the largest and best-performing SACCO in Uganda. “I encourage WSACCO leadership to continue working hard and to contribute to the economy of Uganda. I call upon leaders at all levels in UPDF to support WSACCO so that it continues rendering better services and protect the personnel from exploiters,” Hon. Oboth added.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces, General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, the Commander Land Force Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga commended the support of stakeholders that has been rendered towards making WSACCO a success. “At the beginning, everyone doubted the intent of establishing WSACCO myself inclusive. It gives me joy to see that we are now venturing into business. As a member, I’ve all my salary passing through WSACCO. I have got many loans from the SACCO which I have invested and I am doing well. I am very happy Wazalendo has now broadened its objectives by starting up a Business Arm which will generate more income to the SACCO to support development of the members,” Lt Gen Muhanga said.
The Chairman Board of Directors Maj Gen Sam Kavuma appreciated the MODVA for the continuous support given to WSACCO which he said was the main reason it has registered visible achievements. He paid special gratitude to the CDF for championing the cause of WSACCO, Service Commanders, Division Commanders, Chiefs and Directors for continuously mobilising and sensitising the troops under their command to patronise the SACCO.
“The big figures shown here come from the people you command. I appeal to you Commanders to encourage members to utilize the convenient services WSACCO offers by passing their salaries through WSACCO. Continue mobilising out troops to save, borrow and investing their money purposefully,” Gen Kavuma emphasized.
Gen Kavuma informed the AGM that the BOD has operationalized the investment arm; Wazalendo Investment (SMC) LTD abbreviated as WIL which he said is intended to actualize the development aspect of WSACCO vision.
The chairman of the Supervisory Committee Col Justus Rukundo said that the SUPCO report focuses on WSACCO’s compliance. with cooperative act Cap.112 and its regulations, WSACCO bylaws, policies, plans and AGM resolutions.
He reported that all financial statements presented by management and external auditors were in line with the relevant international accounting standards and SACCO’s accounting policy.
The Chief Executive Officer Col Joseph Freddy Onata his report he said that in terms of operations, the year was difficult and was characterized by a high cost of living due to rising prices of essential commodities and increased cost of doing business.
He said that the membership remained stable at over 90,000, share capital stood at Uganda Shillings (UGX) 223.5 billion, loan portfolio UGX 623 Bn with total deposits standing at UGX 351 bn while total assets were UGX 775 bn and a registered surplus of UGX 60 bn.
The CEO noted that Wazalendo’s commitment to delivering sustainability can only be achieved by continuously building confidence, winning trust and maintaining the loyalty of the members.
Col Onata said the enablers to WSACCO’s good performance amidst a challenging economic environment were; resilience, creativity, innovation and robustness of systems. He noted that a focused BoD and agile workforce and productive engagement with stakeholders have been other success factors.
The Assistant Registrar of Cooperatives Mr. Mpakibi Waiswa Robert thanked Wazalendo SACCO for flying the Cooperatives flag high. He commended WSACCO BOD for establishing the investments arm and guided that the investments should be done but in furtherance of the SACCO mandate as established in the law. He urged WSACCO BOD to continue sharing experiences in order to uplift other growing and those SACCOs that are struggling.