High Court in Mbale has issued an injunction stopping Bugisu Cooperative Union (BCU) Board led by Nandala Mafabi from handling the affairs of the farmers’ group, arguing that their term of office expired.
BCU is comprised of 274 farmer groups but five of them, which Muruba, Bumatofu, Bumusabire, Bumbobi and Bukhaweka, had dragged the Board led by Mr Nandala to court, claiming that he could not continue transacting business on behalf of the Union when their term expired in March.
And on Wednesday, Justice Tadeo Asiimwe ruled that the Board should stop handling the Union affairs until a fresh election is held.
“The old board of the respondent shall cease to handle the affairs of the respondent for 30 days or until otherwise directed by the court or registrar of cooperatives,” Justice Asiimwe said.
“The general manager of the respondent is authorized to run the affairs of the respondents for the period of 30 days. The registrar of cooperatives should give directives and guidance as to what happens in the transition between now and November when the AGM is scheduled to take place,” he added.
Mr Nandala 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.
BCU is Uganda’s only surviving cooperative society. It’s an establishment that has existed since the colonial times. However, it has of late faced leadership challenges, including allegations of abuse of office, lack of transparency, mismanagement of Unions funds.
However, the Nandala leadership denies the allegations and instead accuses government of political interference in a bid to fail the association.
Commenting on the ruling, Mr Nandala said they had delayed to hold the annual AGM in order to give other primary societies time to meet the requirements to participate in the voting exercise.
“The court has helped because now we can hold AGM even if it’s only 10 primary societies that qualify but we had wanted all primary societies to vote,” he said.
Mr Nandala Mafabi further explained that they have a letter from the registrar of cooperatives allowing the current board to continue with its work until a new board is elected in November.
SOURCE: Chimp Reports