Monday, July 3, 2017
Govt is up in arm against unscrupulous cooperative leaders
PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has issued a stern warning that the government will not pardon anyone who will abuse cooperative funds. “The fifth phase government will take harsh measures against those who will misuse cooperative funds and we will continue to make follow ups on the matter until we get leaders with integrity,” the Premier said in Dodoma yesterday, during the International Co-operative Day (ICD). He said cooperatives in the country were facing a number of challenges, among them, theft and embezzlement of resources committed by some unscrupulous cooperative leaders. Premier Majaliwa said another challenge was that some cooperative leaders disrespect the guidelines of the associations and make decisions for their personal interests. He said that in response to these challenges, the government will keep on fulfilling its obligation to put a friendly environment to promote cooperatives, in order to provide an opportunity to flourish and enable Tanzanians to own the economy of their country. ICD is an annual celebration of the co-operative movement observed on the first Saturday of July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance. On December 16, 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed in resolution 47/90 “the first Saturday of July 1995 to be IDC, marking the centenary of the establishment of the International Cooperative Alliance. Since 1995 the United Nations’ International Day of Co-operatives has been observed jointly alongside International Co-operative Day. “It is not acceptable at all to see this industry that portrays the life of Africans does not benefit us accordingly. I am directing the Commission for Development of Cooperatives to ensure that they are run scientifically and according to the law,” he said. He also issued a directive to the Advisory Committee in regions and districts in the country, to include cooperative development as one among important agenda obliged to be discussed and come up with resolutions for implementation. Also make sure they have statistics and figures for cooperatives and its members. However, the Premier has ordered all relevant authorities dealing with cooperatives to set measurable goals on how to improve the cooperative sector. In another development, the Prime Minister has directed that all issues regarding agricultural cooperatives must be taken care by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. In addition, the Prime Minister said the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), should review and identify knowledge and skills in all levels of cooperatives for them to set up short-term courses to prepare appropriate staff required for the industry. He also instructed cooperatives officials to ensure they manage well election for Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOS) and cancel all candidates who had been leaders who were ousted due to embezzlement of funds to the corporation. Earlier, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Charles Tizeba said his ministry will continue to supervise and take stern measures against all leaders of cooperatives who will be caught misusing funds. Tanzania’s cooperatives have a long and proud history which goes back to the early 1930s. In the first decade of independence, the movement was particularly strong, with a complex structure of primary co-ops, secondary co-op organizations and a national cooperative bank.