RWAMAGANA – The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni has asked local leaders to stop meddling in the affairs of cooperative societies in their respective areas.
The Minister said that cooperatives were finding it difficult to work properly partly due to interference from local leaders.
His directive comes days after reports indicated that about Rwf 1 billion was unaccounted for by cooperatives.
“I order you local leaders to get your hands off the cooperatives. If you are an active member you should consider resigning immediately. Your involvement in the cooperatives has created conflicts of interest,” he said.
He was addressing Eastern Province local leaders who are attending a three-day retreat in Rwamagana district.
The retreat started on Wednesday.
The Minister added that local leaders should concentrate on their work as overseers so as to accelerate sustainable development.
“About Rwf 1billion was embezzled from the cooperatives. Sort it out before you are in trouble. That is why most of your colleagues end up behind bars,” he said.
Dr. Ephraim Kabaija, the provincial Governor, said the local leaders should limit themselves to advisory work to help cooperatives develop to the required levels.
However, Louis Rwagaju, the Mayor of Bugesera district pointed out that the cooperatives lacked qualified staff to help them in financial management.