Cooperative Unions Demand Government Compensation


this site sans-serif; color: #222222;”>The unions are now demanding for a clear reparation system in the same story sans-serif; color: #222222;”>manner that government has done for war victims in some country regions, order as well as its recent commitment to return cultural institutions properties.

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The call was made on Tuesday at the launch of the latest report on Cooperative Unions entitled “Cooperative Movement and the Challenge of Development,” at the Kampala Serena.

“We know as well as government does that during these political unrests our farmers in cooperative unions lost a lot of property and we believe that this is the time to have some mistakes corrected,” said Mr David Okello, Manager Uganda Cooperative Saving and Credit Union [UCSCU].

“For some time, we have been hearing of government compensating some groups of people in different parts of the country, yet nothing is
being mentioned about us.”

Cooperative union’s activities in the country began in 1913 and progressed well, enhancing Ugandans welfare until the early 1970, which saw expulsion of Asians and a rapid collapse of the rule of law, respect of people’s rights and ownership of property.

Those that survived these turbulent times got their final blow in the early 1990s as government through World Bank and IMF counsel moved a neo-liberal economy.

They could not hold up to the stiff competition ushered in by capitalistic middlemen who were offering higher prices for farmers’ produce even in their raw state.

Mr Okello went on to assert that the country’s economy severely needed to be ‘restarted’ and that the traditional cooperative unions and not SACCOs would be in position to do that because they are closer to the people and not entirely profit driven.

While presenting the findings of their study conducted across the country by Action Aid, Professor Josephine of the Center for Basic Research, re-emphasised that government ought to come out and compensate these cooperatives as a sign of commitment to the Movement’s revival and development.

“Records are readily available of people’s property that was either destroyed or seized by both the incoming and outgoing governments. Justice must be done to these people before we can think of helping revive their cooperatives,” she said.

The report findings revealed that 94% of Ugandan farmers wanted cooperative revived as soon as possible while only 3.7% were opposed.

The respondents were apparently positive about the potential of cooperatives, the fact that even after all those deathblows, some unions such as the Bugisu, Bunyoro, Kyannamukaka and a few other cooperative unions were still operating smoothly.


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