By Spy Uganda
State Minister for Cooperatives Frederick Ngobi Gume has cautioned Uganda Cooperative Alliance, the Apex umbrella organisation for all cooperatives to do registration of all cooperatives country wide.
Presiding over this years Annual General Meeting in Kampala held at Sliver Springs Hotel, Gume said all current cooperatives are illegal.
“I wish to caution Uganda Cooperative Alliance to register all cooperatives country wide and follow the law if Gov’t is to re-institute Cooperative Bank,” Gume stressed adding;
”We have lost close to sh 200billion compensating cooperatives in the last seven years. We therefore can not continue to operate like this compensating illegal cooperatives, we need to re-organise them first,” Gume added.
Meanwhile, Ivan Asiimwe, the Uganda Cooperative Alliance Executive Secretary singled out property and land grabbing in Buganda region and loss of their core printing business to individuals as key major challenges hindering cooperative businesses.
“It is important that cooperatives in Uganda should be uniformly registered, licensed and managed under a single legal regime. There is also a need for training to policy and law makers to enable them understand the uniqueness of cooperatives,” Asiimwe said.
Cooperatives in Uganda date back to 1913 when Ugandans started organizing as cooperatives. These early cooperatives operated informally until the first cooperatives ordinance was enacted in 1946. This development also marked the establishment of the cooperatives department as a government entity and the birth of the cooperative movement. By the end of 1946, there were 75 cooperatives organizations with the majority being agricultural marketing societies.
As of February 2020, the cooperative movement in Uganda comprised of 21,346 registered cooperative societies with an estimated 5.6 million members.