Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 25 January 2015

No end to Egerton varsity Sacco deep mess

Egerton University Sacco Limited which of late has been embroiled in alleged impropriety of irregular insider lending to board members and staff through its chairman has yet again been hit by irreversible cracks among its members for alleged abuse of office, patronage by government officers and other stakeholders among them, Sacco Authorities Regulations Authority (Sasra).
On one hand, is the Sacco’s chairman Kepha Orina and the moderates led by Aggrey Tshombes. Orina  is said to have dismantled the credit committee and was now performing the committee’s duties,  arbitrarily issuing loans to himself, his cronies in the board among them, Joseph Mwangi, Samuel Owidi  to drum up support for another term in office.
In a letter dated November 11 2015 to the commissioner for co-operative development and marketing under the banner “Abuse of office, loan and employment scandal at Egerton University Sacco”, the members decry having been denied the opportunity to elect their leaders at the time of elections which they say was flawed.
“At the moment as we are talking (writing) to you Bwana commissioner, only less than 30 members of the board and staff have loaned themselves over Sh96 million out of Sh350 million borrowed from Co-operative Bank of Kenya in May last year.  The society boosts of 4,500 members,” it reads.
The Sacco’s board chairman Orina and the supervisory committee chair are being accused of floating the law to acquire themselves and their cronies millions of shillings without the statutory security or approval from the board as by law required.
The following officials and staff have been named as having loaned themselves the money   without following the necessary procedures as required by. They are  Owidi Samuel (Sh7, 996,200), Victor Ruto (Sh7,644,000) Mwangi Joseph (Sh5,400,000), Chester Alivitsa (Sh 5.000,000), Kepha Orina (Sh4,885,000), Esther Ngunjiri (Sh4,380,000), Agnes Mutiti (Sh3,795,000), David Mwayo (Sh3,720,000), Miriam (Sh3,595,000), Matete (Sh3,570,000), Kipgeno (Sh3,200,000), Martin Khatikwi (Sh3,056,000), Augustine Ndeda (Sh 2,720,000), Oketch (Sh2,690,000), Zipporah Kimani (Sh2,465,000), Chelal (Sh2,350,000), Peter Wachira (Sh2,343,000), Boniface Ogeto (Sh2016,000), Martha (Sh200,000), Judy Agala (Sh2,175,000), Ocharo Matoke (Sh1,300,00) while Aggrey Tshombes received Sh1,950,000 among others, the letter to the commissioner of co-operatives states.
There are queries as to why the Sacco wants to give Laikipia University Housing Society Limited a sum of Sh23 million without following the laid down procedures and without the members’ approval.  It is alleged that several services in form of varying loans were given out to members of the board and staff without the approval of the Sacco’s members or in adherence to the requisite norms as by law prescribed and that there were no pay slips attached to the applications.
States the letter: “The loans taken are to be repaid for many months more than required. There is no one following the insider loans policy in compliance with the Act. Some members are due to retire with the loans which means that the Sacco will loose the borrowed amount,” the members moan.
The letter copied to industrialisation cabinet secretary Adnan Mohammed and Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua among others, reveals that even those who did not qualify for the loans were beneficiaries in a system that did not abide by the law, with allegations that there are  now plans by top echelons of the society to destroy loan application forms so that the beneficiaries and the  management’s cronies do not repay.
Sources said the Nakuru county co-operative officer has on many occasions been informed of the anomaly but he for one reason or the other refused to respond to “our concerns even after visiting his office in Nakuru several times”. They accused the co-operative officer of allegedly being a turncoat and never straight forward to listen to their grievances.
It is believed that when Tshombe’s team wanted  to alert the irregular issuance of loans nine  times  against the applicant’s  savings, misuse of office  and Orina team’s alleged highhandedness,  he  and his team  was dismissed  as  busy bodies  out to  earn mileage and take over  the  Sacco leadership  through back door. 
Members have also accused  Sasra  chief  executive officer Carilus Ademba  of  failing to take action  against Orina and his team even after  undertaking  inspection at the Sacco that revealed massive fraud, cases of abuse of office  and ineptitude.