KAMPALA – The State Minister for Cooperatives, Mr Fredrick Gume, has expressed frustration over failure by the Bank of Uganda to explain circumstances under which the Cooperative Bank was liquidated in the 1990s.
This, Mr Gume said, has affected plans by government to revive the bank.
“Since last year, my senior minister has written three letters to Bank of Uganda, requesting for the liquidation report but in the recent one, they told us to wait that they will get back to us,” he told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Wednesday.
The Cooperative Bank was closed in 1999, by the Central bank, citing inadequate capitalization and insolvency. Over 25,000 people held accounts in the bank at the time.
And on Wednesday, the minister said government has prioritized revamping the Cooperative Bank because it believes cooperatives will propel Uganda to middle income status.
“In 2006, my ministry tabled the Cooperatives Amendment Act for Parliament to review the laws of managing cooperative unions. People do not know that SACCOs are financial cooperative societies,” he said.
He added that there are 18,000 registered Cooperative societies and 8,000 SACCOs in the country with 10 million members and if each member contributed Shs10,000, this would be enough to capitalize the Cooperative Bank.
Some of the existing cooperative unions include Nyakatonzi, Lango, Banyankole Kweterana, East Acholi, Masaaba, Teso, Masaka and Kigezi and