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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Disaffiliation from CamCCUL: What Guarantee for the Poor or Money at Risk

The Registrar of Cooperatives and Common Initiative Groups for the North West Region has certified the creation of a new credit union movement known as RECCU-CAM. The first controversy on the birth certificate of RECCU-CAM is that it was registered on May 30, and the registrar signed it creation on May 29, 2013. This is strange indeed, that the conflicting dates are on one document and public opinion is skeptical as to whether the Minister of Finance would endorse such a document. More so, the document doesn't also indicate the founding members as well as the affiliates. Besides, the logo itself is also controversial and raises alot of unanswered questions.
However, that is not our concern for now is that this move by some credit unions to quit CamCCUL has varied interpretations. Yet The Eye gathered that the new micro-finance is yet to receive a blue-print from the Ministry of Finance. However, this is where we gathered from an authoritative voice in the Ministry of Finance that there is a problem. According to the hint if the Minister endorses the disaffiliation, it would mean he has shot himself by the leg given that last year the Ministry gave firm instructions on the harmonization process which was implemented. This explains why during credit union extraordinary AGMs and elections, the Minister's representative was present to ensure that the principles are respected. This was so because the Ministry wanted CamCCUL to harmonize the entire movement in conformity with the OHADA Uniform Act. And the process started in 2006, with the adoption of the Model Credit Union By-Laws which some people saw it as a way to frustrate their moves of trying to hold the credit union hostage. It resulted to some politicians taking to the stage and dictating how the credit union should be managed. This was so because the intention to impose puppet leaders at the helm of CamCCUL was already hitting the rock. 
 The Harmonization Process
The harmonization process in CamCCUL following instructions from the Minister of Finance had a time frame and 98% of the affiliates of CamCCUL approved the process. Credit Unions affiliated to the network were given four options. On the mandate of elected officials members were to vote by choosing: a 5 years renewable once, 3 years renewable twice, 4 years renewable twice or 3 years renewable once. On the condition of eligibility of elected officials members had to vote on "Do You Bring all the Existing Mandates to Zero and carryout Fresh Elections? Members had to vote by "Yes" or "No". An democratically, members voted for the harmonization process and majority won and it was approved. When a new board was elected into office, those who thought they could use CamCCUL as stepping stone saw their dreams dashed and had to go the other way round to disaffiliate. 
Money At Risk
Disaffiliating from CamCCUL therefore entails alot of risk as many questions abound.  According to what we gathered from confidential sources, disaffiliating from CamCCUL is a risky venture given that if the Ministry of Finance disregards and or refuses to accredit the new outfit, the poor peoples' savings may likely be at risk. This is so because CamCCUL played the role of general overseer through controls and shock-absorber both financially and otherwise. Moreso, with this disaffiliation what will happen to their assets in CamCCUL, such as construction fees....etc... However, questions as to whether members were also consulted during a General Assembly Meeting or extraordinary meeting continue to ignite widespread debate given that the decision may have come from the elected officials. At Press time the number of credit unions has not been made public.

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