The delay by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology to remit millions of Kwacha to Tikwere Community Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO) in 2013 has created fear amongst teachers in Chitipa and Karonga that the institution might close down since it is operating on loss.
Last year, Tikwere SACCO, a teachers’ lending institution in Chitipa and Karonga districts, failed to give loans to most teachers. The development resulted into the institution not making any profit.
Speaking at its 2013 annual general meeting in Karonga District during the week-end where SACCO members were being updated on the performance of their accounts, President of the Institution Emmanuel Mtambo said currently, the Ministry of Education owes the institution almost K31 million.
“The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology currently owes us almost K31 million, and its delay to release funds to our institution has affected our operation to the extent that for the past year, we have failed to give loans to teachers.
‘This has led us to lose over k22 million. In fact, the source of income to SACCOs is the interest we get from the loans, therefore, if we fail to pay out loans to our members, we cannot make any interest at all,” said Mtambo.
The Tikwere SACCO President said that since last year, the loan disbursement has dropped to 50 per cent as the institution only managed to give out about K33 million compared to K64 million disbursed in 2012.
With the situation, some clients have dropped out following their dissatisfaction with the way the lending institution operates.
“We have also lost over 22 members since the end of 2012 who have been dissatisfied with our present operation, including the failure to release loans,” said Mtambo.
SACCOs are among the few institutions in Malawi which offer better conditions for civil servants, including teachers, to obtain loans in order to sort out their economic needs.
Felix Mkandawire, a member of Tikwere SACCO himself said the institution has been the best loan provider for most of the teachers, hence the need for government to address its major challenges.
“As you might be aware that teachers in the country do not receive enough salary, through SACCO, we are able to get loans for business, school fees for our children, and even for the construction of our own houses.”
“So, I appeal to government to help the institution not to close down but improve its services for the betterment of teachers,” said Mkandawire.
Currently, Tikwere Community SACCO has a membership of more than 3,000 teachers across the two districts of Chitipa and Karonga.
The theme of this year’s annual general meeting was ‘2014 a Year of Change.’Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :