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Nandala gets another term as BCU Chairman

MBALE, April 5, 2024 – The Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] Secretary General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, has been re-elected unopposed as the Chairperson of Bugisu Cooperative Union [BCU] for another term.

Nandala, who is also the Budadiri West Member of Parliament has been the Chairperson of BCU since 2008.

Nandala and the entire board were elected unanimously by the delegates during the 63rd annual general meeting [AGM]  held early this week at the Union headquarters in Mbale City.

The other members are John Musila who was returned as Vice Chairperson [Director Lwakhakha Zone], Isaiah Sasaga Wanzira, [Director of Sironko Valley Zone], Michael Lulonde [Director of Lambuli Zone], Joshua Mweru [Director of Upper Central Zone], Eddy Wanambwa [Director for Bubulo Zone], James Kutosi [Director for Tsutsu Zone], and Florence Watsala [Director Manafwa Zone].

Nelson Wedayila, the Secretary of the BCU Vetting Committee, confirmed that the board members successfully passed the vetting process.

“The BCU Board of Directors met all minimum requirements such as being registered BCU farmers and selling their coffee at BCU,” Wedayila said.

John Musila, the Vice Chairperson of BCU, said Nandala’s leadership has brought sanity to the Union that covers the districts of Mbale, Manafwa, Bududa, Bulambuli, Namisindwa, Sironko, and Mbale City.

Musila, who is also Bubulo East Member of Parliament, said BCU also runs a SACCO [BCU SACCO] which provides affordable credit to members, majority of whom are Arabica coffee farmers.

Some of the delegates who attended BCU’s Annual General Meeting (Courtesy photo).

He added: “We established a radio station [BCU Radio] with educational agricultural programmes. This is a big achievement for the Union, ”he said.

While giving his acceptable speech, Nandala applauded the delegates and pledged that his leadership would ensure that BCU becomes a model cooperative in Africa.

He also thanked the farmers for reinstating the board, emphasising its importance in completing ongoing projects.

Nandala expressed gratitude towards the farmers for trusting him and his board to lead the BCU for another term.

He also committed to continue lobbying for the Union, giving more bursaries for students, adding that the leadership will implement all the resolutions passed by the members, such as the establishment of BCU Television.

Nandala highlighted projects like the upgrade of BCU Musundi House on Manafwa Road in Mbale City into a five-star hotel and the reclamation of Mount Elgon Hotel, which was sold by the former board in the 1980s.

The Minister of State for Cooperative, Frederick Ngobi Gume, who was the chief guest at the AGM commended BCU farmers for selling their coffee to BCU, emphasising its role in improving coffee prices.

On his part, Isaiah Sasaga Wanzira, Director of Sironko Valley Zone pledged to ensure the active participation of all primary societies under BCU in bringing coffee to BCU.

Sasaga who is also the Budadiri East legislator asserted that if all primary societies within the Bugisu Sub-region sell their coffee to BCU, competitors will automatically be phased out, leading to increased benefits for coffee farmers.

Religious leaders also attended the AGM (Courtesy photo).

For his part, the Bulambuli Resident District Commissioner, Stanely Bayole urged BCU leaders to allocate the many acres of land that is dormant in the district to boost coffee production.

Bayole further said security authorities in Bulambuli would safeguard the land belonging to BCU, saying it is being unlawfully encroached on by the local leaders.

BCU is owned by coffee farmers, who are organised in primary societies.  Each primary society keeps a register of its fully-paid-up members who elect a committee, which manages society’s affairs.

Each primary society is represented by two delegates at the AGM.

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