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September 24, 2018

Former Nitunze Sacco bosses charged with stealing Sh50m

Workers walk in the Mumias sugar factory in western Kenya February 24, 2015./REUTERS
Workers walk in the Mumias sugar factory in western Kenya February 24, 2015./REUTERS

Four former directors of Mumias Out-growers Sacco Society, now known as Nitunze Savings and Credit Co-operative Society, have been charged with theft of Sh50.7 million.

Michael Washika, Peter Magero, Protus Opondo and Francis Omusinde face 10 counts of theft, conspiracy to defraud and failing to submit last year’s audited accounts to the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority for approval.

Magero, Opondo and Omusinde pleaded not guilty before senior resident magistrate William Lopokoit on Monday.

Members of the Sacco are the complainants. Washika was not in court, prompting Lopokoit to issue summons that he appears in court personally on July 30.

Lopokoit released the three on Sh5 million bond and a surety of similar amount or Sh1 million bail.

The three could not raise the bond and were remanded at the Kakamega prison.

The four were accused of stealing Sh9, 579, 929.61 between April 28, last year and January 24. They are also accused of selling 2,000 shares of Nitunze Sacco and stealing Sh24 million, which they accessed by virtue of them being its directors.

Magero and Opondo faced separate charges of stealing Sh17.2 million from the sacco between April 22, 2014 and May 2, 2014.

The two were also charged with conspiring to defraud Sh17.2 million by pretending they would loan the amount to Nitunze Sacco members.

They were also accused of conspiring to steal Sh24 million pretending they used the money to settle Sacco members’ balances at KCB and outstanding loans at KUSCCO .

The prosecution wants the county government of Kakamega to provide documents used in purchasing 50 acres of land from the Sacco in 2014.

The case will be mentioned on July 23. In March, Christopher Bolo, a senior manager of Harambee Sacoo, was charged in Nairobi with stealing more than Sh13.6 million.

He allegedly stole the cash between December 1 last year and February 7, this year. Harambee Sacco is the second largest credit and savings co-operative society in Kenya.

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