Cooperatives given up to November to hold Covid-19 delayed AGMs

UGANDA – The Registrar of Cooperative Societies in Uganda has set 31st December 2021 as the deadline for all cooperatives to have their Annual General Meetings (AGMs).

The directive comes at the heels of realization of a legal dilemma likely to come up, if cooperatives do not adhere to the legal requirement of holding Annual General Meetings.

In a letter to all the cooperatives, the Registrar of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Trade and Cooperatives, Robert Bariyo Barigye says, all cooperative societies with membership of up to 200 delegates should hold AGMs in strict observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in consultation with the District Covid-19 Task forces, before November 30th 2021.

Barigye also directed that cooperative societies with membership beyond 200 should in consultation with the Covid Task forces endeavor to improvise and organize AGMs in a phased manner before the deadline of December 31 2021.

Speaking to theCooperator on phone, Barigye says, “Cooperatives have not sat for two consecutive financial years, so with the partial lifting of the lock down, they could use this window to hold their AGM.”

The directive follows President Museveni’s State of the Nation Address easing pressure on congregations with a limited number of 200 persons in strict observance of SOPs and consultation with District Task Forces.

“It is apparent that cooperative societies have not held their AGMs due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation, and the resultant lock-down since March 20th 2020,” The letter dated 23rd September 2021 reads in part.

The Constitution requires registered cooperative societies to hold AGMs not later than three months after the expiry of the financial year.

The letter was sent to all chairpersons of cooperative societies countrywide and copied to District Commercial Officers to enable them facilitate and guide the same.

The AGM is the supreme body in which several critical decisions are taken including; reviewing audited books of accounts, election of new office bearers, presenting plans to members among others items.

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