Leaders of cooperative societies have been urged to jealously protect properties under their care to ensure the growth of the members and their assets.
Augustin Katabarwa, the chairman of the National Cooperatives Confederation of Rwanda (NCCR), said some cooperatives heads were using their positions to misuse assets of the societies, which he said had led to losses for many groups across the country.
Katabarwa cautioned the leaders against misuse of cooperative assets, saying the culprits would be dealt with according to the law.
“We always audit cooperatives…when any leader is implicated in the mismanagement of funds or assets of cooperatives, they are apprehended and taken to courts of law,” he said while addressing the leaders in Kigali recently.
“Cooperatives will play a pivotal role in the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched last year. Therefore, we want to warn leaders against mismanagement of the cooperative funds and assets as one of the ways to support this objective,” Katabarwa said.
He argued that cooperatives form a strong foundation for the country’s development, promoting socio–economic transformation.
He said leaders of cooperatives, staff and members would be sensitised about the importance of assets to help safeguard them (properties).
He added that the leaders and staff would be trained to boost their skills in property management.
Katabarwa called on the youth to join cooperatives, arguing that this will help make the cooperative movement in the country stronger and economically sustainable
Philbert Shumbusho from FERWACOTHE cooperative in Gicumbi District, said cooperatives promote inclusive development, reducing the gap between the rich and poor.
He called for more training for leaders, as well as advisory support services, saying most cooperatives rely on the skills of the leaders since they cannot afford to hire professional managers.
Clementine Mutumwinka, a member of the Bugesera District Cassava Federation, called for initiatives that would help cushion farmers against the effects of climate change and ensure sustainable crop production.