Bugisu Cooperative Union Wrangles Take Toll On Coffee Production

3071 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Wrangles over management of Bugisu Cooperative Union have had a toll on the sale and production of Arabica coffee in Mount Elgon region.

Wrangles over management of Bugisu Cooperative Union have had a toll on the sale and production of Arabica coffee in Mount Elgon region.

Government and the management of Bugisu Cooperative Union have for the past one year been locked up in a management dispute.

Government suspended the board led by leader of opposition in parliament Nathan Nandala Mafabi and appointed a caretaker board led by William Wophukulu the Mbale District Cooperative Officer.

The board led by Nandala unsuccessfully petitioned court to intervene and reverse the decision. To-date the union has continued to be led by a caretaker manager.

Government recently announced another commission of inquiry which will investigate the state of affairs at the union for the next three months. The commission follows a similar one whose findings are yet to be made public.

But as the two sides engage one another, the wrangles have had a toll on the production and sale of coffee in Bugisu.

Enoka Musindu a farmer who formerly served as manager of Bugisu Cooperative Union between 1966 to 1982 says a number of farmers are now stuck with their coffee because they can no longer sale it to the union.

Musindu says farmers have shunned the union because they feel government is getting too much involved in their affairs. He however says the farmers have resorted to sale their coffee to private buyers who offer very low prices.

He says currently private buyers buy a kilogram of coffee berries at 7000 shillings a price lower than the 10,000 shillings which Bugisu Cooperative Union was offering before the wrangles.

Mike Kasoola from Bulambuli says the former board led by Nandala Mafabi had managed to encourage the farmers to plant more coffee but they got discouraged when they failed to sale the coffee due to wrangles at Bugisu Cooperative Union.

//Cue in: “Coffee production was…”
Cue out “…this is our livelihood” //

But the caretaker management of Bugisu Cooperative Union says everything at the union is running on smoothly.

William Wophukulu the caretaker manager in a recent interview with URN claimed that the union is buying and selling coffee as usual. He however failed to show the statistics to prove his claim.

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