The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperative, Amelia Kyambande has warned cooperative leaders against corruption and selfish interests.
She warned that some board members of various cooperatives are extravagant, which may give cooperative another blow.
She said, “Someone budgets, for instance, budget 10 million and spends 22 million, this causes imbalances to the cooperative.
With Uganda already waging war on corruption, the minister also wants corruption thrown out of the window in her department.
A cooperative is member-owned, member used, controlled and benefiting the members.
Ivan Asiimwe, General Secretary at Uganda Co-operative Alliance, notes that if members borrow beyond 50% they lose control because the debt-equity ratio should not exceed 50%
According to a 2018 report by Transparency International, Uganda is the 3rd most corrupt country in the East African Community, and out of 180 countries where the research was conducted, Uganda took 151 positions, whereas the 1st positions is for least corrupt countries.
Several stories on corrupt cooperative leaders have made headlines in the media, such as chairman fleeing with sacks and briefcases of group savings.
With corruption among the members eating up the cooperatives, Amelia Kyambande advised on proper allocation and use of funds.
Corruption and misappropriation of funds also cause internal divisions within the cooperatives, in turn hampering efforts by the union to progress towards development.
As the popular saying goes, united we stand, divided we fall; there is no way a divided cooperative can progress.