Thursday June 12 2014

Farmers reinstate Seiko as Sebei Union head

Maj Juma Seiko addresses delegates of Sebei-Elgon Cooperative

Maj Juma Seiko addresses delegates of Sebei-Elgon Cooperative Union on Tuesday. The delegates reinstated him as the union’s chairperson. Photo by David Mafabi 

By David Mafabi

Kapchorwa- A special annual general meeting (AGM) of Sebei-Elgon Cooperative Union (SECU) has re-elected Maj Juma Seiko as chairperson.

This comes months after a group of delegates from the 52 primary cooperative societies, led by Mr Kalifan Chemutai, stormed the union and elected Mr George Toskin as chairperson.

The acting commissioner for cooperative development and also registrar of cooperatives, Mr Joseph William Kitandwe, said the special general meeting was called after a pressure group petitioned the Trade ministry over mismanagement, disappearance of property and financial impropriety at the union.

“A section of delegates from SECU petitioned the ministry over mismanagement at the union and wanted the Maj Seiko -led board out, citing incompetence, financial impropriety and failure to hold statutory annual general meetings for more than four years,” said Mr Kitandwe.

The Trade minister, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, while speaking during the meeting on Tuesday heard that Maj Seiko’s term had ended and fresh elections needed to be held.

The meeting comprised about 137 delegates drawn from the 52 primary cooperative societies across Sebei region in Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo districts.

“For this union to be successful, farmers need to own it, you need unity and work towards development, you need leaders who are transparent and accountable to the people and you need to forgive each other to allow healing,” said Ms Kyambadde.

Although he admitted there have been mistakes in the management of the union, Maj Seiko accepted that he had chaired the SECU board since 2009 without a meeting and blamed infighting and politics in the union for it.

“My failure to hold the AGMs was a technical issue that needed funds. You cannot hold a general meeting without money,” said Maj Seiko.