Maxwell Akora, the Maruzi Member of Parliament in Apac district has been elected Chairman Board of Directors of Lango Cooperative Union. Akora was elected unopposed at Union’s Special Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Lira Municipal Council hall on Tuesday.
He replaces Johnson Engole who has been at the helm of the Union for a decade. Tony Ogwal, the Alebtong Town Council Chairman was elected Vice Chairman while Robert Akona is new treasurer. Other members elected to the Union’s board of directors are; Bonny Otim, Malandra Okello, Simon Ongom, Levi Wacha, John Okello and Tom Richard Opio.
The general meeting also elected a three-member Supervisory Committee headed by Owiny Dano. In his speech, Akora pledged to ensure cohesion of the board and revival of the once powerful Union.
The woos for the Union started decades ago. However, the current troubles dates between 2009 and 2011, when the former board of directors acquired loans that the Union failed to service.
For instance, the Union obtained a loan of Shillings 2.4 billion from the Micro Finance Support Centre to finance cotton growing in Lango sub region, but failed to pay back on grounds that the season was bad.
This prompted Micro Finance Support Centre to sell off the Union’s ginnery at Ngeta to recover part of the loan. The Union still owes Micro Finance Support Centre Shillings 1.45 billion. President Yoweri Museveni in 2016 directed the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperative to save the Union’s properties from being sold to recover the remaining loan balance.
As the Union came to its knees, cotton growing, buying, ginning and selling were heavily affected and this rendered the 144 primary societies that make up the Union also inactive. The Akora led board has its work well cut out– to revive the Union already choking on debts.