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UCA suit adjourned after Respondents’ no-show in court

Mengo Chief Magistrate Nasambu Esther has adjourned the Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA) vs Attorney General and Registrar for Cooperative Societies case to April 29, 2021, after the two respondents’ lawyers failed, for the second time, to appear in court.

David Bahige, the applicant’s lawyer told the court that none of the respondents appeared on December 15, 2020, when the matter was first due for hearing, after which it was adjourned to March 11, 2021, at which date they were again a no-show.

“Your worship, the respondents have not filed in a reply to the application and they are now out of time to reply, ” he said, adding: “Given that they did not make an appearance today as well, we pray that the application ceases.”

However, Magistrate Nasambu declined the prayer saying the respondents’ counsels should be given more time until April 29, 2021.

Speaking to theCooperator, Samuel Ssentumbwe, the head of NAAC, revealed that the case is a result of fraud issues in UCA.

Ssentumbwe says these and other internal issues had led some frustrated former staff of UCA to form the National Alliance of Agricultural Co-operatives in Uganda (NAAC), an umbrella union of agriculture cooperatives, in 2018.

The body aims to provide customized support services to agricultural cooperatives in the country, and last year, it was officially registered as an agricultural cooperative union by the Registrar for Cooperatives under the Co-operative Societies Act 1991.

According to Ssentumbwe, NAAC’s mandate is similar to UCA’s, a reality that the latter was unhappy about. 

“When UCA, got to learn about that, they decided to sue the government for having registered this organization,” he explained.

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