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Deo Nsereko, former Cooperative Bank boss and senior cooperator dead

KAMPALA, September 18, 2023 – The former board chairman of the defunct Cooperative Bank, Deo Nsereko is dead, according to Milly Babalanda, the Minister for the Presidency.

According to Babalanda, Nsereko who also served as Resident District Commissioner and Presidential Advisor will receive a befitting burial tomorrow in his home in Ziroobwe, Luweero district.

Recently in an interview with theCooperator Magazine, Nsereko expressed optimism on the government’s decision to re-establish the Cooperative Bank, after it closed it in 1999.

The Cooperative bank to which he was once a board chairman was established in 1964 and controversially closed in 1999 by the Bank of Uganda [BoU] following reports of under-capitalisation and mismanagement.

During the interview with theCooperator Magazine, Nsereko who has been a palm grower in Kalangala district until his demise, argued that for the cooperative movement to prosper in a liberalised economy, it would be ideal to have a cooperative bank that would finance the agriculture sector, considered so risky by commercial banks.

“This would be the most ideal move for the government to empower communities that are grappling with economic hardships right from the family levels,” he said during the interview that focused on reviving the Cooperative Bank.

Nsereko who served the bank for nine years, said at the time BoU took over its assets, it did have the required capital to do business, even though he blamed government for not rescuing the former lender.

“Cooperators did not have the required expertise to operate a bank in such a dire situation without enough required capital, yet the government did not lend a hand to the bank to enable it compete in a new era of liberalisation,” he said.

Nsereko belonged to Kigonyogo Area Cooperative Society in Ziroobwe, Luwero district which subscribed to East Mengo Cooperative Union for which he was elected chairman, before leading Coffee Marketing Board for over 11 years.

Nsereko during the interview with theCooperator boasted of training cooperators across the country, working with cooperatives like Bugisu Cooperative Union, Banyankole Kweterana Cooperative Union, Teso Cooperative Union among others.

Meanwhile, Bubulo East Member of Parliament, John Musila in a tribute to the late Nsereko referred to him as an original cooperator in the country who understood and observed all the values and five principles of cooperatives.

“Nsereko was a brand in Uganda’s cooperative movement. He steered the Cooperative Bank and at the time it was closed I had one million shillings on my account. Nsereko was one of those senior cooperators fighting to have the Cooperative Bank revived. We shall continue to push for the revival of the bank,” Musila said.

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