As many as 150 cooperatives risk closure as part of a campaign by the Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) designed to eliminate ghost and unprofessional cooperative unions.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, RCA Deputy Director, Gilbert Habyarimana, said the cooperatives in question include those which started way back in the 1960s.
“According to the current laws, some of these cooperatives are not fit to be called by the name,” Habyarimana said.
“In that case, we shall either help the members transform into companies or fulfill the requirements if they are to retain their present status.”
He explained that some cooperatives, among other factors, do not even comply with the membership clause, which requires a minimum of 15 members.
In the 150 cooperatives, some are not operational while others are family owned which is also against the law.
“The main objective of forming a cooperative is to bring members together and come up with profitable ventures that can help them fight poverty, “he said.
“But our inspection team realised that some people form cooperatives as a vehicle to get money from other organisations; they lack a clear work plan to sustain themselves and to achieve their mission statements,” added the official.
Some of the heads of cooperatives in question admitted they do not meet legal requirements, but hastened to add they were willing to adjust.
“We started our cooperative in 2008, but most of our members have since left for further studies. We only remained four members,” said Henry Hirwa, the vice president of Kigali Boys Entertainment cooperative.
He added they are now considering recruiting more members and to fulfill all the other legal requirements.