PROPOSED LAW

Senators approve law taming rogue Saccos

Bill stipulates roles of national and county governments in Sacco management

In Summary

•Currently, there are about 23 registered cooperative societies, with a membership of 14 million. 

•The Saccos hold Sh732 billion of members’ savings, and control an asset base of Sh1 trillion, and Sh700 billion loan portfolio.

Nominated Senator Agnes Zani
INITIATIVE: Nominated Senator Agnes Zani
Image: FILE

Senators have endorsed a Bill seeking to streamline the operations of savings and credit cooperative societies (Saccos) and tame rogue officials.

The lawmakers said the Cooperatives Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 will bring sanity and shield rogue managers who have been defrauding Kenyans of their lifetime savings.

“Saccos have come under increasing public scrutiny of late, mostly on charges of loss of members. That creates a sense of wanting to find out what might be happening therein,” nominated Senator Agnes, who sponsored the Bill, said.

The proposed law sailed through second reading last week where the lawmakers overwhelmingly supported it.

The Bill provides guidelines for registration of Saccos, stipulates the roles of the county and national government in the management of Sacco and outlines channels for dispute resolution arising from the Sacco.

The Zani Bill says the Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to co-operative development should formulate a national policy framework and standards for the development and growth of cooperative societies.

“The Cabinet Secretary will maintain a register of approved audit firms in the cooperatives sector and formulate management standards for cooperative societies,” it adds.

The proposed las amends the Co-operative Societies Act No. 12 of 1997, so as to align it to the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Currently, there are about 23 registered cooperative societies, with a membership of 14 million. 

The Saccos hold Sh732 billion of members’ savings, and control an asset base of Sh1 trillion, and Sh700 billion loan portfolio.

Kitui senator Enoch Wambua said the Bill is timely as it comes when many Kenyans have lost their savings to rogue Sacco managers

“I am particularly impressed by Clause 7 of the Bill which seeks to amend Section 6 of the Co-operative Societies Act (No12 of 1997) which provides for the refusal to register a co-operative society.

 “….. where there is no order, it becomes a fertile ground for anarchy and for people to do things in ways and manners that are whimsical so that when individuals begin to give character to the society as opposed to individuals fitting into a structure,” he said.

“ That Clause brings order in the entire registration regime of our co-operative societies,” he added.

Minority leader James Orengo said the Bill will reign in officials who have been running Sacco as though their person bus9inesses

Orengo added that the provision for disputes resolution will help end many problems that have rocked many Saccos and spilled over to the public.

Nominated senator Alice Milgo said, “Looking at this Bill, Section 6, 7 and 9, it has provided for refusal to register. This will go a long way in ensuring that those cooperative societies that are not well managed or do not meet the requirements will not be registered.”