Ugandan microfinance company Front Page announced that they will carry on with their controversial job recruitment drive, regardless of government officials denouncing their methods. With 304 vacancies, the MFI is offering jobs exclusively to applicants who are members of the institution. In order to open up an account, there is a minimum requirement of Shs20,000 (USD 12). According to an article by the Daily Monitor, the company could collect about Shs120 million (USD 72,683) in just over a month from thousands of job seekers for positions as finance officers, branch cashiers, branch credit officers, and drivers, among many other positions.
Regulators say pegging job interviews on a requirement such as opening of accounts in a bank or a microfinance institution advertising the jobs smacks of exploitation. “It is not correct; it is against the universal principles of co-operatives,” said Mr Fred Mwesigye, the
commissioner for co-operatives in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. “That is not the way it should be. It is legally wrong.”
However, Front Page boss Muwonge said that the company is
operating within the law. “It is not illegal [because] we are operating under the Co-operative Societies Act,” he said. “We made wide consultations.”
Bank of Uganda that regulates financial institutions also said the action by Front Page is illegal. As of now, no action had been taken against the firm. The police say they will only take action if an individual raises a complaint.
Front Page was registered as Front Page Microfinance Co-operative Savings & Credit Society Ltd. in January 2004 as a member based financial services company. In 2005, it was transformed into a savings and credit co-operative organization (SACCO) to operate under and in accordance with the Co-operative Societies Statute. Their mission is to mobilize, organize and empower Ugandans, especially the economically active women, people with disabilities, youths, and elderly in rural and peri-urban areas. Today, the company has more than 20,000 members and 14 branches nationwide. Further information on Front Page is unavailable, as it does not report to The MIX . the microfinance information
–Monica Sharma, Research Assistant
Category: Payday loans