Secretary for Industry and Trade Randson Mwadiwa says his ministry is putting in place strategies that will enable more civil servants to join Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Saccos )as one way of boosting their income.
Speaking during the opening of the Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Muscco) and Sacco planning conference in Lilongwe on Friday, Mwadiwa said many civil servants continue to suffer financially because they get loans from loan sharks as well as institutions that charge high interest rates.
Said Mwadiwa: “Apart from teachers, not many civil servants are in Saccos. As a Ministry, we will make sure that we have deliberate policies that will compel civil servants to join Saccos. The good thing with Saccos is that their interest rates are affordable and civil servants can easily repay loans.”
He said Saccos help in mobilising people to be financially included and if more civil servants join Saccos, the country will benefit financially.
“In Saccos people work as a group and this helps them to make strides economically. If one is working as an individual, it becomes tough to get the required positive results and the end result is financial stagnation,” said Mwadiwa.
Secretary for human resource management and development Sam Madula agreed with Mwadiwa that most civil servants are not in Saccos and this affects their financial generation capabilities.
Without mentioning names of companies, Madula said many civil servants have struggled with the existing high interest rates.
“There were instances where civil servants could not receive their salaries because of big debts. As government we would be happy if more civil servants joined Saccos because their lives will be easily managed. What we have learnt from Saccos like the Mzimba Sacco is something worth emulating by all civil servants,” said Madula.
Muscco board chairperson Dennis Kalekeni said all Malawians, including civil servants, must join Saccos because it is one way of improving one’s economic status.
“If people are not economically stable then they depend on hand outs and subsidies and hand outs have done a lot of damage to the country. If we are to move forward we should encourage as many people as possible to join Saccos because good examples are there for people to see,” said Kalekeni.
The Muscco and Sacco joint planning session is an annual event which brings together Sacco leaders from all Saccos affiliated to Muscco to share experiences and seek common solutions.