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Verification of Cooperative Unions’ War Claims On Course – Ministry of Trade

Government is verifying war claims owed to various cooperative unions, Parliament has heard.

This was revealed in a meeting between officials from Ministry of Trade and parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

The unions seek compensation from government for the wartime losses, restoration of the defunct Cooperative Bank as well as the legal regimes for their operations.

Grace Adong the trade ministry’s Permanent Secretary says so far, 7 cooperative unions have been verified with 15 others pending.

Those verified include; Bunyoro Growers, Masaka Cooperative, Busoga Growers, Teso Cooperative, Masaba Cooperative, North Bukedi Cooperative Union and Lango Cooperative Union.

These unions however, had their claims reduced after a thorough audit.

Originally claims stood at 120 billion shillings but were lessened to 75 billion after audit.

According to documents submitted to PAC, 10 billion shillings was extended to these unions in the 2017/2018 financial year.

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Another 3 billion was paid during the just concluded financial year leaving the outstanding balance at 61 billion shillings.

Those awaiting approval; Banyakole Kweterana, West Nile cooperative union and West Acholi among many others.

Collectively unverified entities are demanding over 130 billion shillings in claims.

Meanwhile, Hon. Gonzaga Ssewungu the Kalungu West MP asked whether officials have details of Masaka Cooperative union to avoid asset loss.

Ssewungu says the defunct entity had so many properties such as; Kyabakuza coffee factory, Villa Maria coffee factory and the union’s headquarters in Masaka town.

PS Adong confirmed that all these details are with the ministry.

“I said at the beginning that there is a verification team which comprises several ministries. We have the reports for the cooperative unions that have been verified here with us”, she explained.

Highlighting on the criteria of compensation, Adong says as a rule of thumb, claims have to be scrutinized by a select committee.

Concerning the fate of other unverified entities, she said the ministry is working with district commercial officers to sort this out.

 

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