Bugisu coffee farmers have unanimously endorsed the stay of incumbent Bugisu Cooperative Union chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi in office for the fifth term.
This was during the annual general meeting held at the union headquarters in Mbale.
Nandala becomes the first to benefit from the amendment of the cooperatives law to remove the term limit.
Nandala’s re-election comes at the time when the union is grappling with an Shs2.1 billion liquidity deficit and huge losses attributed to lack of internal controls, high operating costs, and a high staff to income ratio.
Yesterday, coffee farmers converged at the union offices to among other things receive reports from the board, assess the progress of the union, approve budgets and proposals from the board and elect the new board member.
In his report to the farmers BCU chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi highlighted some of the milestones registered in his ending term including the development of union land in Bunambutye, renovation of properties among others.
The farmers expressed concern over inadequate farmer education and lack of support to farmers.
According to the financial report, the union lost Shs2.4billion to among other factors decline in world market prices, out-turn milling loss of, depreciation, lack of control in the buying and processing section of the factory, high operating costs, and a high staff to income ratio and fraud.
The financial report also revealed that the union registered a decline in revenue in the first six months 6 of 2020. From Shs3billion to Shs844 million accounting for a 72% loss in revenue.
These have left the union in a liquidity deficit of Shs2.4 billion.
The board is now seeking to borrow money from the microfinance support center to fix the liquidity gap.
The union is also grappling with a high exodus of farmers who have resorted to dealing with multinationals. This is attributed to poor business acumen.
When the time for voting came, one of the farmers passed a proposal seeking to extend the tenure of office of the 9-member board unopposed and the same was unanimously endorse by the farmers.
Mafabi joined the union in 2008 and he will be serving for his 5th term. He pledged to consolidate the achievement and develop the properties.