Kirehe banana cooperative in Rwf50m loss, risks collapse

At least Rwf48 million was reported missing in a banana cooperative, known as Kamara, in Kirehe District. This was disclosed yesterday at a meeting organised by the district officials, to settle standing disputes among the cooperative’s top leaders.

At least Rwf48 million was reported missing in a banana cooperative, known as Kamara, in Kirehe District.

This was disclosed yesterday at a meeting organised by the district officials, to settle standing disputes among the cooperative’s top leaders.

Kamara, established in 2006, is a registered banana growers cooperative in Nyamiryango village, Gatore Sector, Eastern Province.

According to the members, its aim is to improve the economic situation of its members.

Members said the cooperative’s vice chairman Joseph Mwemerankiko and its chairman Emmanuel Rucamumihayo, are at loggerheads, a situation that is affecting the cooperative.

Jean de Dieu Tihabyona, the vice mayor in charge of Economic affairs in the district, urged the cooperative managers to settle their differences and put the cooperative’s work first.

He warned the managers that they risked losing their status if they don’t change, adding that individuals couldn’t be allowed to affect the cooperative.

 “This is a cooperative that had reached satisfying levels…I am surprised that managers think that egoistic tendencies can prevail over the cooperative interests”.

Tihabyona said increase in capital of the cooperative should be a blessing and not a curse.

Potential for export

He urged farmers to draw attention on the current unsatisfied demand for high quality apple bananas in Rwanda, adding that there was potential for overseas export, especially of organically grown apple bananas.

“We are talking of a cooperative that recently got a boost of Rwf224 million loan. The new financial muscle seems to have taken some managers the wrong direction of thought…we however, can’t allow it,” he said.

Forestry  and Agriculture Investment Management (FAIM) helped the cooperative access over Rwf120 million loan, to increase its production.

Gilbert Habyarimana, in charge of cooperative development, challenged cooperative members to reveal irregularities involving their leaders.

“The obligation is with you, don’t allow your cooperative to collapse while watching…you have loans and when they embezzle the money you will all pay,” he warned the farmers.

Kamara cooperative (250 members), is one of the 106 agro-based cooperatives in Kirehe districts.

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