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Lockdown Drains Najjembe Market Vendors’ Sacco :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Lockdown Drains Najjembe Market Vendors’ Sacco

The members have been depositing between 10,000 and 20,000 Shillings a fortnight. According to the Sacco leadership, they had collected up to 40 million Shillings in member’s savings prior to the lockdown. He, however, says the money has now reduced to19 million Shillings .
Najjembe Market located along Kampala Jinja-Highway closed after the Minstry of Health identifying three people postive to Covid-19.

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The current lockdown has taken a huge toll on Najjembe Meat and Chicken Vendor’s Savings and Credit Co-Operative-Sacco in Buikwe district. The Sacco, which comprises more than 300 depositors has been operational for the last three years.

The members have been depositing between 10,000 and 20,000 Shillings a fortnight. According to the Sacco leadership, they had collected up to  40 million Shillings in member’s savings prior to the lockdown. He, however, says the money has now reduced to19 million Shillings .

Usman Lukwago, the Board Chairperson of Najjembe Meat and Chicken Vendor’s Savings and Credit Co-operative-Sacco, says the lockdown has completely drained their savings. He explains that when the government announced the nationwide lockdown, most members stopped making their fortnight contributions.

Lukwago says that when the government started easing the lockdown majority of the members secured loans expecting to resume their normal operations but unfortunately, the market was closed and all vendors ordered to sell isolate after three of their colleagues tested positive for Covid19.

He explains that many vendors had stocked produce and beverages, which is going to waste. Lukwago says the board resolved to close the Sacco offices because they were finding difficulties to maintain their workers and pay rent. Lukwago says their plan was to use their savings to buy land and establish chicken farms to supply members. 

Luganda//Cue in; “Twagala tusigale nga…   

Cue out: …nga kkumi zifudde”// 

Henry Ssentongo, another board member, says the lockdown has totally messed up their Sacco and they don’t know how to proceed.  

//Cue in; “Our saving culture…

Cue out…escape starvation.”// 

 

Nubuati Nakayiza, one of the vendors says they are currently looking at their survival until the situation normalizes.

//Cue in; “Ng’ omuntu abadde…  

Cue out: …kubanga tebakyakola”// 

Jane Francis Kagaayi, the Buikwe District Commissioner comforts the vendors not to lose hope, saying the situation will soon normalize and they return back to their businesses.