By Patrick Jaramogi
Embattled Bugisu Cooperative Union (BCU) has formalized steps to fill the vacant positions in its Board, The Cooperator magazine has established.
BCU is registered under the Cooperative Societies Ordinance of 1946. They are among the leading exporters of Arabica coffee in the country.
In an advertisement placed in the media, the Union called for applications from suitably qualified members of the BCU to fill the 9 vacant posts of the Board of Directors. The Board consists of 9 members drawn from each of the nine zones in the Mt. Elgon area.
The call for new bids follows a Mbale High Court injunction issued in September 2018, stopping the BCU Board led by Hon. Nandala Mafabi from handling the affairs of the Union. The Court argued that their term of office had expired.
Five farmer groups, members of BCU had petitioned the High Court, against the Board led by Hon. Nandala Mafabi, claiming that he could not continue transacting business on behalf of the Union when their term had expired in March 2018.
Court ruled in favour of the farmer groups. The Board was instructed to stop handling the affairs of BCU until a fresh election is held.
Hon. Mafabi has served as BCU Chairperson for two consecutive terms. In the latest term, he was elected in 2016 and his term of office expired in March 2018.
BCU is one of Uganda’s surviving cooperative unions. However, it has been marred by leadership challenges, including allegations of abuse of office, lack of transparency, mismanagement of funds.
The Nandala leadership denies the allegations and instead accuses government of political interference.
Applicants for the Board positions must possess a minimum of an Ordinary Level certificate or its equivalent, must be a member of a registered Primary Society, must have supported their society in the last two consecutive years, must not be indebted to their cooperative or BCU and must be delegates to BCU. Their society must have delivered a minimum of 2500 kgs of coffee as required in the Bye law. Proven experience in cooperatives, public affairs, business and civic activities is a must.
Applicants will be vetted by a competent Committee, appointed by the Registrar. Recommendations of the Committee will be forwarded to the Annual General Meeting. Credentials must be submitted by 9 November 2018.