THE Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) authority and other co-operative unions and societies have been advised to recruit pre-auditing officials to avoid the arbitrary use of cooperative funds.
The advice was given by the Assistant Registrar of Cooperatives in Kilimanjaro Region Ms Jacqueline Senzighe during the union's Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region, recently.
"The presence of pre-auditing officers will prevent the arbitrary use of union funds and will also reduce the deficiencies that appear in the union's regular financial statements; the pre-auditing officer's work will prevent such defects in advance," she said.
"The pre-auditing officer will be required to ensure that all documents are correct before approving any expenditure, whether payments in cash or payment by check, especially when approving procurement payments," she added.
She added, "This pre-auditing officer should be given the freedom to conduct the union's audits from time to time, especially those concerning procurement, even if he or she does not inform the Board or union's management when he or she wants to conduct audits".
Contributing to the motion, Lyamungo Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Society (Lyamungo Amcos) Chairman Mr Gabriel Ollomi supported the initiative saying the pre-auditing official was very important and that the absence of the official would create a negative impact on any cooperative society.
During the special meeting, the union delegates approved amendments to the union's terms and conditions which, according to the KNCU General Manager Mr Godfrey Massawe, amendments aimed at strengthening Africa's oldest union.
"The proposals that have been passed include the union's board to convene a general meeting of the union's members to approve the loan required by the union and which exceeds the debt limit before it is submitted to the Registrar of co-operatives for approval," he said.
Mr Massawe explained other approved union's conditions included the board to oversee and ensure the union's accounts are closed within three months from the end of the financial year and that failure to that, the board will be dissolved by the Registrar of Cooperatives.
He mentioned other improvements that included the board in collaboration with the Registrar of Cooperatives would hire a competent and experienced person to be the chief accountant of the union.
"The terms and conditions of the appointment of the chief accountant shall be by the terms and conditions of employment of the union staff, whereby the chief accountant, will among other activities be responsible for compiling quarterly, semi-annual and nine-month financial statements of the union and submitting them to management for review before submitting them to the board members," he said.
He said the other amendments that were approved by the members of the special general assembly included that of the union to apply to the Registrar of Cooperatives to request permission to join any another cooperative union, to establish a joint project as well as consent to join any private company or any other non-cooperative institution to establish a joint venture.