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Sebei Elgon Cooperative Union stuck with Shs 500m debt.

The new management of Sebei Elgon Cooperative Union, one of the oldest cooperatives in Eastern Uganda, is currently stuck with a Shs 500m debt accumulated during previous board’s tenure.

According to Elisha Bureto, the cooperative’s Secretary Manager, most of the outstanding debt is due to unpaid staff salaries and other operations costs.

A key income source for the cooperative is the renting out of its properties such as land and houses in the three Sebei districts of Kween, Bukwo and Kapchorwa.

“Annually, we are collecting Shs 200m and Shs 50m in rental fees for land and houses respectively, while the previous board used to collect less than Shs 100m from renting out both land and houses per year,” he said.

Bureto attributed the increased collections to improved coordination between the cooperative’s leadership and the farmers who rent the cooperative’s properties.


However, Bureto intimated that despite the increase in the cooperative’s collections, they remain inadequate for the union to settle its debt and still fulfil all of its obligations.

”Much as our collections have increased slightly, if we use the money we are collecting for settling the debt, the cooperative will fail to operate given the fact that there are many things that still need to be put in place to revive it,” Bureto said.

He appealed for government support in clearing part of the debt, with the cooperative covering the rest of the balance.

Sebei Elgon Cooperative Union was founded in 1963, just a year after Uganda’s Independence. The cooperative is owned by farmers through organized primary cooperative societies in Sebei region.

On Feburary 24, 2017, the union elected a new board that saw Emmy Sayekwo replace Maj. Juma Seiko as board Chairperson.

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