Mwanza — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has said it is not the responsibility of the government to bail out heavily indebted cooperatives but rather members of the unions.
The president also implored regional authorities to assist the members of the cooperatives to get honest leaders for the cooperatives unlike now where most of them are led by unscrupulous leaders.
Mr Kikwete made the remarks here during his official tour of the region. The president was briefed on development progress in Mwanza region. "There was a time we settled debts of all cooperatives in a bid to revive and enable them stand on their own and access loans from financial institutions, but they have gone back to the old days," he said.
The president cited a cooperative union for Coast region which he said even after the government settled its previous debts it has now incurred debts more than what was paid by the government. "The unions are not public institutions but private. Some dishonest leaders fail to settle debts owed to them and as a result the government is blamed for this," Mr Kikwete wondered.
During the briefing, Mr Kikwete was told that the Nyanza Cooperative Union was in final stages to acquire a loan of 7bn/- from the TIB Development Bank to buy cotton from members.
"It is up to you to get the loan since the union is yours. There was a time when management of this cooperative sold a godown worth 600m/- for just 50m/- and at the end they wanted the government to help them," he noted.
Meanwhile, the government said the country would be producing 3,000MW of electricity come the year 2015 which would be adequate for the national demand while surplus will be exported.
The Minister for Energy and Minerals Prof Sospeter Muhongo made the remarks here during an occasion to launch a 60MW power plant at Nyakato area. At present, demand for electricity stands at about 800MW per day but the minister was hopeful that there would be surplus power come 2015.