Cooperatives & Communities

Gulu cooperatives to be probed over mismanagement, unprofessionalism

GULU-Plans are underway to probe cooperative societies in Gulu district over allegations of mismanagement, unprofessionalism, and operating under closed doors.

According to Gulu district commercial officer, Patrick Ojok Lakica, several members belonging to different cooperatives have lodged complaints to his office accusing leaders and managers of mismanagement of members’ funds as well as unprofessional practices.

Ojok said his office has the mandate to verify if cooperatives are operating within the law.

“As a department, we have plans to scrutinize all the cooperatives in the district and see how best we can streamline their activities so that they can operate within the law,’’ he said.

He said the leadership of some cooperatives is in the hands of family members who don’t possess leadership and management skills.

Some cooperatives in the area are still faced with several challenges, including lack of adequate funds, illiteracy, and lack of training opportunities which make it difficult for cooperatives to contribute maximally to business promotion activities.

“It all takes us back to the formation of cooperatives and the leaders do not reach the district for technical advice. Others have no vetting committee in place something that brings members on board who are not professional,” he observed.

“The situation is alarming, we shall weed out all those that have made it a tendency of cheating from members and those with unprofessional leaders,’’ he added.

However, the chairperson of West Acholi Cooperative Union, Jackson Oyugi, when contacted to comment on the issues raised, said he has not yet received such complaints at his office in regards to cooperatives that are not adhering to the standards.

“I have not received any communication from the district commercial officer on the matter. It might be there but not alarming as such,” he said

Oyugi however advised the leadership of various cooperatives to desist from cheating the members, since they are already troubled by Covid 19, effects.

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