Uganda Co-operative Alliance Limited has petitioned Parliament for a fully-fledged and well-funded independent Ministry of Cooperatives, in addition to having a Parliamentary Committee where all the concerns of cooperatives will be channelled.
In a meeting held Tuesday, 28th June 2016, the lead petitioner, Ms. Jane Okello, while presenting the petition signed by 1,000 petitioners, requested Parliament to consider granting the ministry.
Ms. Okello said the petitioners prayers were, but not limited to; “being granted a fully-fledged and well-funded independent Ministry of Cooperatives; have a Parliamentary Committee on Cooperatives” and that the Speaker takes their plea to the President to assent to the East African Community Cooperatives Societies Bill, 2014 among other appeals.
“Whereas we appreciate the fact that there is a Minister of State and a Department of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives [under Hon Amelia Kyambadde], we would be contented with a Ministry of Cooperatives, with professionals and functional structures right from the sub-county to the national level,” she added.
Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga informed the petitioners that as Parliament they were in support of the proposals presented by the petitioners.
“Cooperatives are important and I am in full support for their restoration. I believe everyone should join a cooperative and that is the way to go for our economy. We shall invite you to the public hearings to present your petition when the time comes,” she said.
Kadaga assured the petitioners that Parliament will follow up with the East African Community Cooperatives Societies Bill 2014, and make sure that the President assents to it.
Mr. Charles Kabuga, Head of Cooperatives in Uganda, said cooperatives are the oldest form of saving and credit cooperatives (SACCOs). He thanked the Speaker for sparing time to receive their petition.
“Madam Speaker you hail from a district with strong cooperative traditions, and we are glad that you allowed us to meet with you. The greatest noise about cooperatives is from Busoga. We know that when you champion issues, all will be well,” he said.