Police respond to parliamentary report on operations of Exodus SACCO

Uganda Police's Exodus Sacco Chairperson, SCP Wilson Omoding Otuna addressing the media on Monday, February 19, 2024

Kampala, (UG): Uganda Police’s Exodus Saving and Credit Cooperative Organization (Sacco) have refuted a parliament report presented in early February probing the operations of the force’s savings cooperative which is alleged to be marred with several complaints emanating from governance, and management concerns.

The report presented by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa on February 1, 2024, directed the parliament’s defence committee to inquire into the operations of Exodus Sacco, following a statement by Internal Affairs state minister Gen David Muhoozi regarding involuntary deductions from officer salaries as a contribution to the Sacco.

However, while addressing journalists on Monday, Exodus Sacco Chairperson, SCP Wilson Omoding Otuna said the report did not adequately address the challenges and achievements of Exodus Sacco from 2020, including increased membership, loan and savings growth plus financial empowerment.

“Exodus Sacco management has written to the registrar of cooperatives regarding the issues raised in the report, providing supporting documentation. Additionally, management has communicated with the Police Council as the Sacco was established by a resolution of the council in 2007. The recommendations from both entities will guide the next steps,” SCP Otuna told journalists at a weekly police briefing in Kampala.

Mr Otuna further maintained that Exodus Sacco operates in accordance with the cooperative principle of autonomy as a self-help organization controlled by its members, with no interference from police management despite operating under the patronage of the Force to improve officer welfare.

“The SACCO engages its members directly through various channels such as Board, Management, Delegates, Community Liaison Officers (CLOs), and Unit commanders, providing updates on SACCO developments, including shares, savings, loan products, system upgrades, and addressing member concerns,” he explained.

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Signalling the membership of the savings cooperative, the Sacco boss explained that membership experienced a slight decrease to 41,798 in 2023 due to retirement, voluntary exits, and member deaths, but they were able to record a significant growth in its loan portfolio, with a 48% increase, reaching Shs45billion.

“Savings withdrawals remained high at approximately Shs557 million per month, constituting over 69% of saving deposits during the period. Loan disbursement totalled Shs28 billion, with total assets reaching Shs69 billion and share capital at Shs 13 billion,” Otuna stated.

He said as of the current figures in the Exodus Sacco, the member savings are at Shs31 billion.

“Exodus SACCO remains committed to transparency, accountability, and member autonomy. We appreciate the Committee’s recommendations and assure stakeholders that appropriate actions have been taken to address each point,” Otuna remarked.

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He added; “From ensuring voluntary membership to effective communication with members and adherence to regulatory requirements, Exodus SACCO prioritizes member welfare and satisfaction, promoting fairness, inclusivity, and responsible financial management.”

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