The running of Ekeza Sacco, which has been under receivership for a year, has been reverted to members after the Commissioner of Co-operatives ordered the election of a management committee.
A special general meeting convened by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives jointly with a caretaker committee ratified a recommendation that the Sacco goes back to normal operations.
The meeting was held yesterday at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
The more than 200 members in attendance were informed that debt owed to depositors by Ekeza now stands at Sh96 million down from Sh1.05 billion.
A five-member management committee composed of the caretaker team was unanimously elected to run the Sacco for three years.
Society was founded by Rev David Ngari ‘Gakuyo’ in 2017 through his Gakuyo Real Estate Company.
It had recruited over 30,000 members in a Savings and Credit scheme with a net worth of Sh3 billion before it was put in receivership in 2019.
Subsequently, a majority depositors pulled out demanding refunds while others failed to repay money they had received as loans.
Management issue During yesterday’s meeting, members also resolved to initiate a process to rebrand the Sacco by changing its name and making various amendments to its by laws as well as electing three officials as members of a supervisory committee.
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Cooperatives Francis Wekesa, who presided over the meeting, said the government is committed to supporting the Sacco to ensure it gets back on its feet .
He was assisted by Hesbon Kiura, an assistant commissioner for Co-operative development.
“The society can now resume its business and members are free to deposit or borrow funds in accordance with the Sacco by laws and the Co-operative laws,” Wekesa said.
At the same time, Wekesa clarified that Gakuyo is at liberty to run operations of the Sacco and or contest for any managerial role having shown a commitment to repay members their dues.
“There has been no criminality in the issue of Ekeza, only that it was a management issue that led them to trouble. For now, Gakuyo is free to work with the elected management officials for better operation of the Sacco,” said Wekesa.
He added that unlike other societies which went under after becoming insolvent, Ekeza has been able to make refunds and compensate investors who had paid for land, hence the government’s decision to give it a new lifeline.
A report read by the chairman Joel Njogu indicated that from October last year, the Sacco refunded Sh 83.3 million to 4,073 members while Sh 438.8 million was compensated to depositors in form of land allocations.
Total refunds so far stand at Sh881.1 billion either by cash or land, bringing to 70 per cent the Ekeza recovery strategy, the report reads.
Sacco CEO Jimmy Kagoni said his management is upbeat that Ekeza is on the recovery path and appealed to members to invest afresh.