The endorsement by Kenya’s upper house of a bill seeking to streamline the operations of savings and credit cooperative societies (Saccos) and tame rogue officials is well on its way to realization. The proposed amendment to the Co-operative Societies Act No. 12 of 1997, to align it to the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
It is expected that the Cooperatives Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 will restore sanity in this Kes.732 Billion sector, which has seen rogue managers defraud Kenyans of their hard-earned cash, calling for urgent intervention in how these institutions are managed.
Currently, there are about 23 registered cooperative societies with an asset base of Ksh.1Trillion drawn from 14 Million Members. The current loan portfolio stands at Sh700 billion.
The Bill, which already passed its first reading, stipulates that counties will be required to promote, facilitate and register primary cooperatives societies and facilitate value addition.
This move backs a presidential directive to the ministry of co-operatives to fast-track the formulation of the National Cooperative Policy and operationalizes the proposed Sacco Societies Fraud Investigation Unit within the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA), interventions of which are intended to fix loopholes in the sector.
On the other hand, the co-operatives policy is set to come up with regulations relating to co-operative development including a national policy framework and standards for the development and growth of cooperative societies, while enabling smaller entities to merge in order to become more profitable and efficient to members.
The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade & Cooperatives will maintain a register of approved audit firms in the cooperatives sector and formulate management standards for cooperative societies.
Eventually, it all sums up towards building wealth together frictionless, and bring financial health to all!