We may debate, or even dissent, but that is the bitter truth for whoever wants to stay in its fold! This analogy may illustrate the case for cooperatives against what we have currently in Uganda.
Cooperatives, in the original meaning of the Cooperative Movement no longer exist in Uganda as they used to. Save for Nyakatonzi and Bugisu cooperatives, the institution died along time ago.
Just like the Catholic Church, cooperatives are governed by the same principlesâ€”creed and doctrine, with the same hierarchy globally. What goes for cooperatives in Uganda today are collectives, self-help groups and voluntary associations.
These are basically loose coalitions and alliances with no basic structure and much less a hierarchy, each with its own goals, objectives, constitution, rules and regulations.
Cooperatives are run on a structured, formal hierarchy, starting from the primary society at local level, cooperative union at regional level and cooperative alliance as the apex at national level.
As a type of business, we classify those in the agricultural sector as farmer controlled enterprises (FCEs) financed and owned by members. Saccos are usually second generation cooperatives where members earning from either salaried employment or FCEs, pool their savings and later borrow.
Saccos are rarely found in the agricultural and other producer sectors, since the cooperative economy has a cooperative bank, cooperative insurance, cooperative transport and consumer shops to service their entire value chain and membership.
Amon B. Mbekiza
Except for Nyakatonzi and Bugisu, coops are dead and buried