Home NewsNational Rise In Monthly Salary and Overdraft: 2022, A Year Attained for ‘Mwalimu’ 

Rise In Monthly Salary and Overdraft: 2022, A Year Attained for ‘Mwalimu’ 

by Emmy Nuwamanya
10:20 pm

It all started with the month of August 2022, when Government announced the plan to allocate Rwf5 billion towards the recapitalisation of Umwalimu SACCO, intended to improve teachers’ welfare, including access to finance through the saving and credit cooperative.

This was celebrated well by ‘Mwalimu’, alongside more news about salary increase also announced by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente.

It was during his address to Parliament, where the Premier stated the move would minimise the turnover of teachers in public schools and improve quality of education.  Among other results, the declaration saw salaries of primary school teachers increased by 88 percent.

Established in 2006, Umwalimu SACCO which currently operates as a financial institution has about 120,000 members, served in 30 branches countrywide. 

The teachers’ SACCO has different savings and loan products, which aim at improving their well-being through acquisition of loans and encouraging them to save.

Since 2008, members have been getting overdraft loans that help them pay school and medical fees on time, solving personal issues, among other products.

In yet another new development before the year 2022 comes to an end, through Umwalimu SACCO saving and credit cooperative, it was announced that maximum salary advance had been increased from Rwf 3.5 million to Rwf5 million, payable in three years. This was during an Ordinary General Delegates Assembly for SACCO members, held December 28, 2022. 

The Director General of Umwalimu SACCO, Laurance Uwimbaje said, ‘We hope that credit risk or inability of a borrower to repay the loan, will be reduced because of this expanded range of amount in salary advance, but we also encourage members always to have insured collaterals for larger loans.’ 

Over Rwf 144 million worth loans have been awarded to different members in 2022 while a debt recovery of about Rwf 1.9 billion has been realised visa -avis the target of Rwf 2.9 billion.

Umwalimu SACCO has also launched three new digital platform products; Internet banking, e-tax payment and online emergency Loan.

According to Uwambaje, 554 schools have been registered in their banking system and 33 pay Staff salaries through the same credit and saving cooperative. The move is to have more registered for the same purpose.

She called on SACCO members to increase savings and other financial transactions like paying student school fees, to boost loan availability. An addition of 137 loans has been made, resulting from increased salaries and over 65,000 SACCO members use mobile banking system 

SACCO members speak of benefits from both new and old services

Umwalimu Sacco Internet banking enables members to conduct a range of financial transactions through a website link (www.umwalimusacco.rw ). Micheline Munganyinka, a member from Sake sector, Ngoma district said the system has saved Staff from her school from a 30-kilometre distance to SACCO branch, where all bank transactions are done via internet.

‘We can now concentrate on other businesses and this helps us to meet our goals in time,” said Munganyinka.

E-Tax Payment system is another new digital service introduced by Umwalimu SACCO in partnership with the Rwanda Revenue Authority. It helps SACCO members to finalize the declaration and payment of taxes. 

 Enock Ntihemuka another member who has used the system to declare taxes said it does not only speed up tax payment but also reduces risks. 

“E-tax payment system has enabled us to avoid the risk of facing penalties for late tax declaration, and I urge other members to embrace it, to save their institutions from unnecessary losses,” Ntihemuka said. 

Jean Pierre Ntungana, a teacher at Ecole primaire Mashenyi in Gisagara district is an old SACCO member who has acquired a loan three times. He has constructed a residential house and rental houses.

‘The Cooperative has transformed my life, depending solely on a monthly salary was stressful to me.  A side business of rental houses has enabled me to stop dependency on one source of income, my family thrives and strives for the best,” said Ntunga proudly.

Some prospects in boosting service delivery

Infrastructure development, especially on branches 

Enhancing savings through cooperative members

Reinforcing the use of disaster recovery network as required by the National bank

Ensuring cyber security

Umwalimu SACCO plans to introduce the debit card system by March 2023

Bringing more clients, especially schools to use their banking services.

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