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Sulom should plan well on Mpira Sacco

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I am a proud member of Mudi Sacco and I can attest that Saccos have greatly improved my life as well as that of thousands of members.

I congratulate Super League of Malawi (Sulom) for carrying forward what was promised by the then vice-presidency aspirant, Daud Suleman, during election campaign, who promised that Mpira Sacco will be formed solely for football players.

Last week, Sulom announced that as part of its strategic objective of commercialising and professionalising football, “Mpira Sacco shall seek to reduce the financial inclusive gap around our football players at the same time allowing them access to financial tools that will enable them to save part of their money and access credit facilities”.

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Yes, this is what we proud members of Saccos, whose slogan is ‘Happy Family’ have benefited in the many years we have been its members.

Saccos thrive to motivate Malawians to have a saving culture, which very few have. The Saccos first targeted low-income people but over the years we have seen many high- profile people in the corporate world joining.

Let me assure the football players as well as their club administrators that members’ money is well-protected. Saccos are governed by an Act of Parliament which mandates the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Malawi Union of Credit and Savings Cooperatives (Muscco) to prudently guard members funds.

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I urge clubs to embrace this initiative in line with Sulom’s “desire is to improve the status and welfare of our football player”.

It’s very pleasing and encouraging that Sulom engaged the right institution, Muscco, who are conducting sensitisation meetings with TNM Super League clubs that started last Saturday in Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

That’s the way forward and I hope Sulom will meet all the tough requirements that the Act sets and the good thing is Sulom realises it has to do this within the regulatory and legal framework.

I am glad that Suleman is making good his promise to create Mpira Sacco and these sensitisation meetings were to convince the clubs to be financially stable so that they will be able to remit to the Sacco on behalf of the players.

For the players who do not know how Saccos work, this is a grouping of members who save money as shares, deposits and savings on a monthly basis or at any moment they have more to save.

The money one saves is used as collateral for loans — granted at 200 percent of one’s shares for the principal loan product. One can borrow up to 300 percent of their shares, that is they can access other loan products on offer even when one is still servicing the principal loan product.

The shares and the loans are insured and upon death of a member, one’s contribution as shares are disbursed to the next of kin at 200 percent. The insured loans are written off.

It’s a win-win situation. Once the players will see the benefits of being a Sacco member, they will never look back and by the time they retire from football, they can carry on through other means agreeableby both parties.

Saccos are always open for any type of arrangement necessary andworkable because this is a member-driven initiative.

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