By Egessa Hajusu
The registrar of cooperatives Joseph Kitandwe has refuted claims that his office demands for bribes in order to register cooperatives.
“This is a very serious allegation I am hearing it for the first time,” Kitandwe said, and challenged the Cooperator to name its source which is contrary to journalistic principles of protecting sources.
Responding to a question from the Cooperator that his office demands for bribes from cooperatives before registering them.
A number of cooperatives seeking to be registered in Bukedi sub region told the Cooperator that the registration process at the registrar of cooperatives takes longer than the required two weeks period.
The cooperators that requested for anonymity for the feat of being victimised also claimed that they are compelled to pay bribes before getting registration.
Some claimed that their documents have stayed at the registrar’s office for more than three months because of being not able to meet the demands of the registrar’s office.
However, speaking to the Cooperator in a telephone interview Kitandwe dismissed the allegation as baseless and challenged those claiming to have bribed his staffs to name them, vowing to take action against the implicated officers.
He believed some people could be acting as middle men and pausing as commercial officers in his office so as to extort money from the unsuspecting members of the public (cooperators).
Concerning registration, he said, according to their rules, the standard period for registration should be two weeks.
Each case is unique in its way, some may delay because of the clients taking long to respond to the queries raised by the registrar’s office.
All the clients are issued with acknowledgement chits as we receive them to ensure they don’t claim to have submitted in their documents earlier to prevent concerns like this.
“But we are also not compelled to register them anyway,” he said adding that if everything is in order, registration doesn’t take long.
He said he could not give a general comment because each case is different and appealed to those willing to register their cooperatives to feel free take them and directly report to him those asking for bribes.