HomeBUSINESSBugamba SACCO finally Elects New leadership Amidst Tight Security.

Bugamba SACCO finally Elects New leadership Amidst Tight Security.

Joshua Nahamya,

Rwampra.

Bugamba Peoples SACCO, one of the iconic co-operatives located in Rweibogo village Bugamba Sub County in Rwampara district held its contested elections on 21 June 2021 over leadership challenges that had crippled it over some good time.

The tense situation was witnessed by tight security which camped at the special general meeting after the previous annual general meetings (AGM) had collapsed twice to elect the new statutory bodies to move the SACCO forward.

Out of 1744 members, only about 600 turned up to elect new committee members whose term of office had expired in 2019.

The special general meeting was presided over by Moses Magumba, the Senior Officer at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives who intervened to enable members to conduct smooth elections.

“Some of your members petitioned to our office that previously two AGMs were held but elections were not conducted since the term of office had expired and we never wanted a leadership vacuum a reason we came to conduct a special general meeting today,” says Magumba.

Alfred Ainembabazi, the Newly Elected Bugamba Peoples SACCO takes on his mantle. Joshua Nahamya.

According to Christopher Ahimbisibwe, General Manager, Bugamba Peoples SACCO, the latest standoff has its roots in an April 2021 petition by members of the SACCO to the Office of the Registrar of Cooperatives seeking clarity on who to take on the leadership positions after the first and second AGMs conducted in April ended prematurely as members failed to agree.

“At the close of the year 2020 April, members were to elect a new board but to their shock, the chairperson vetting committee had elected the full board committee without their approval. Members then wrote a petition in May 2021 to the Registrar of Cooperatives about the failure to elect new statutory committees. The request was honored by the Ministry of Trade who instructed a special general meeting be held on 20th may 2021 which was today” Ahimbisibwe explained

However, the anticipated tumultuous special general meeting on Thursday ended successfully as members immediately reelected Alfred Ainembabazi as the new chairman board committee (BOD) deputized by Joselyne Nantale who at first tied a knot with Wilson Mugume who was later disqualified for defaulting the SACCO funds.

Over 600 Members of Bugamba Peoples SACCO attending Special General Meeting at Rweibogo HQ in Bugamba Rwampara. By Joshua Nahamya

“On the position of the chairperson we’ve not gotten any other member competing therefore I declare Alfred Ainembabazi Bazira as the dully elected chairperson of Bugamba Peoples SACCO” Magumba revealed

Members also elected the new supervisory and vetting committees claiming that the former committees did not play any role in protecting the members’ savings

After the elections, Alfred Ainembabazi, the new elect board chairman condemned the acts of Amon Ainembabazi, the District Commercial Officer Rwampara for causing the financial loss to Bugamba Peoples SACCO.

“I believe if the DCO Rwampara is like you, our SACCO wouldn’t be leaping with such losses we suffered during the two premature meetings we held in April” Ainembabazi reacted

Herbert Ndibarema another elected board member wished the officer of the registrar of cooperatives to punish the DCO for injuring Bugamba Peoples SACCO.

“If it’s possible you should discipline this DCO or transfer him from Rwampara because he was a man behind all that happened” Ndibarema

The chairman-elect promised other elected members to exhibit maximum integrity and transparency during their new term in office.

He also thanked all members for loving Bugamba Peoples SACCO who stood with it despite the leadership squabbles that had quenched the SACCO.

“I think if you remain with such a heart our SACCO will develop within a short time” chairman-elect noted

Christopher Ahimbisibwe, the SACCO’s General Manager encouraged the elected leaders to be a new engine for Bugamba Peoples SACCO’s transformation

“Its now a new beginning the fact that I have an operating board we are going to cooperate and make sure that the SACCO stabilizes” Ahimbisibwe emphasized

We hope that by the end of this year, our SACCO will have restored its lost glory caused by unscrupulous individuals who had their interests the General Manager adds.

Speaking to the accused, Amon Mutabarura attributes the counter-accusations to one of the political mafias in Rwampara that were protecting the former chairman to remain in power.

“This SACCO was earlier hijacked by mafias who were at the apex of defaulters then there came in political camps but as a commercial officer I cannot support something which is wrong and the moment you support what is right then culprits will find all the means to fail you” Mutabarura explained

When asked why he suspended the former chairperson, Mutabarura answered that he was against Alfred who was conniving with the management to defraud members’ savings.

“Alfred and Centenary were both political agents and due to the fact that politics were still active and fresh in the minds of members, we wanted to change the whole leadership so that they can get someone who is neutral and is able to bring the two sides on board but the old board couldn’t concur with me and then allegations that I was sidelining with some of the aspirants had to rise,” says Mutabarura

Mutabarura says is not worried about the next course of action from the registrar of cooperatives.

“Cooperatives are usually private sector developments unless I did something irregular like causing a financial loss or took a bribe but with an advisory service people may talk irreplaceably but Bugamba Peoples SACCO is one among many cooperatives including Emyooga so I am still a custodian in the district”. He spoke

Vicent Nuwagira, the Deputy Chief administrative officer (CAO) Rwampara adds that the politics involved within the SACCO could not cause punishments to their staff.

“Issues of Bugamba SACCO seems were political and they wanted to intimidate one of our staff but otherwise Mutabarura is still our staff and he is working. We can’t suspend our staff just because of your chaos in changing leaders to me there was no case to answer” says Nuwagira

Centenary Bamwine one of the SACCO members also confirmed that Bugamba issues started during the recently concluded general elections that sparked divisions among its members.

“Whoever has Bugamba SACCO at heart should get politics out of this financial institution. I agree with you we were supporters of some particular candidates but we should not involve them in this SACCO since politics will divide our members into two factions, a reason as to why the DCO advised us to get someone who is neutral but it was not taken in good faith” says Bamwine

He added that the tight political race between Molly Asiimwe and popular Annah Kansiime, the former Rugando sub-county councilor both vying for the Woman MP seat in parliament caused camps between members in Bugamba peoples SACCO that failed the election of the new board from taking place.

“For instance, I was an agent to Molly Asiimwe and Alfred was a campaign agent to Annah Kansiime meaning that whoever becomes a chairman would let some of the members quite the SACCO and indeed which happens because they never took the right advice” he added

In his closing remarks, Magumba representing the registrar of cooperatives’ office said it was unfortunate for their staff but thanked Bugamba Peoples SACCO members for exhibiting total discipline and patience to elect new leadership.

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