The government is concerned over the failure among cooperatives in Katete District to adhere to universal principles that guide the cooperative movement in the country.
Katete District Commissioner, Malan Zimba said the district has over 1000 cooperatives, but very few of them observe cooperative principles.
“We have over 1,420 registered cooperatives in Katete, it is sad to note that very few of these are organised and managed based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity,” Mr Zimba said.
The District Commissioner was speaking over the weekend during the commemoration of International Cooperative Day held under the theme “cooperatives enterprises build a better world”.
He warned that Government will no longer be interested in providing support to cooperatives that operate outside the universal principles that guide the cooperative movement.
“In this regard, I wish to make a sound warning that this government will never support such cooperatives. The intention of government is to work together with cooperatives that practice the universal principles of cooperatives,” he said.
Mr Zimba further stated that the Government had commenced the process of deregistering all dormant and moribund cooperatives.
Mr Zimba also highlighted that government was encouraging the formation of cooperatives to facilitate the acquisition of loans and other empowerment programmes like the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
He said this was in a bid to grow the economy hence citizens are encouraged to diversify the types of cooperatives they form and belong to other than agriculture.
Meanwhile, Katete District Cooperative Society Chairperson, Jacob Mbewe appreciated the Government for its concerns towards the corporative movement.
However, Mr Mbewe hinted on some challenges are hindering the cooperatives in the district to contribute to the economic development of the district.
He cited the non-functional solar milling plants, which are not benefiting the communities, among the various challenges.
“The Solar milling plants are a white elephant and require to be revamped. The Feeder roads in the district are terrible making it difficult for farmers to transport their produce to the market,” Mr Mbewe said.
He further appealed to the Government to ensure that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) pays farmers that will supply farming commodities to it on time in this year’s purchasing season.