KIKUUBE – Peter Banura took the oath on May 24 as the first elected chairman of Kikuube District and pledged to revive cooperatives to their full glory and riches.
In his maiden speech, Banura, son of Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi Maj Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza, said cooperatives can help people climb out of poverty but local governments have not fully supported them.
The interim district council chaired by Francis Kazini approved a Shs 36.83 billion budget on April 9 for the financial year 2021/2022. This was a climb down from this financial year’s Shs 42.4 billion.
Education and the health sector took the lion’s share of over Shs 10 billion and Shs 5 billion, respectively. The wage bill was allocated Shs 11.5 billion, domestic development, Shs 14.96, and the non-wage expenditure got Shs 8 billion. Cooperatives didn’t get a penny.
Banura vowed to engage the district technocrats to ensure that cooperatives get a share of the budget.
He said the government wants to revive cooperatives back on their feet and urged the local government leaders to support that commitment.
Through strong cooperative societies, he said, the district will be able to mobilize farmers to embrace modern agriculture, value addition and get markets for their agricultural produce.
He also promised to teach people about the importance of cooperative societies to ensure sustainability of cooperatives in the district.
“Management of cooperatives societies is still a challenge; sometimes members think cooperatives’ money is free money. Members borrow money and don’t pay back, which affects the growth and sustainability of cooperatives,” he said.
He also promised to deal with the rampant land conflicts.
“Over 90% of the people in Kikuube district depend on agriculture, so when they are threatened with increasing land grabbing and eviction, they cannot plant coffee, banana and other cash crops,” he said.
He also promised to tap into the district’s rich flora and fauna to promote tourism and prop up the district’s purse.
Denis Senjobe, the chairman Mukama Natumanya Saving and Credit Cooperative Society in Ruhunga village, Buhimba sub-county, commended the new district boss’ commitment to revive cooperatives.
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