By Kondwani Magombo
The United Civil Servants SACCO (UCSS) has now expanded to Mangochi District where it has already registered over 1,200 members since the financial institution opened its doors in February, 2017.
UCSS General Manager, Francis Waliwa, disclosed this when he officially presented the financial institution to the District Executive Committee (DEC) on Wednesday.
He said since the Mangochi satellite opened using SACCO mobile channel, there had been a positive response indicating that civil servants in Mangochi had embraced the culture of saving.
“We are now here to stay and it is within our plans to open a fully fledged branch in Mangochi by 2019,” explained Waliwa, adding, “Our plea to leaders and civil servants in Mangochi is to trust us to be real. We are here to offer a practical solution for civil servants to break the vicious circle of poverty and improve their livelihoods from recruitment to retirement through savings.”
Waliwa further described the SACCO concept as a powerful financial cooperative model for economic empowerment where people put their resources together to collectively battle against poverty.
UCSS members can access loans and their deposits depending on affordability and shares. The institution also offers financial literacy, financial counseling and entrepreneurship to help members achieve financial wellbeing, according to the General Manager.
District Commissioner (DC) for Mangochi, Reverend Moses Chimphepo, hailed the concept and urged sector heads to encourage their subordinates to join the UCSS.
The DC decried lack of interest in many civil servants to save on the pretext of not earning enough.
“People think for one to save they need to have high earnings but it’s the opposite,” said Chimphepo, adding: “From the very little amount you can start saving and see how much you’ll have at the end of the year, and at the time of retirement.”
Chimphepo said there was nothing worse than bowing out of service after reaching your retirement age and go home poor because you had no savings.
However, the DC appealed to UCSS management to consider extending access to the financial institution’s services to the public service employees including those working in government parastatals.
The UCSS has spread to 13 districts with close to 17,500 members, according to Waliwa, and the institution has a total assets value of MK2.1bn and an institutional capital of MK420m.
All Malawi civil servants are eligible to join UCSS upon filling membership form and declaring shares’ amount and deposits to be deducted from their salaries and remitted to UCSS.
In Mangochi, UCSS offices are located near Old Airport within CADECOM Complex.-Mana