By Stephen Makabila
The year 2016 was an eventful one for
the country’s Sacco industry and the cooperative
sector in general, with major
achievements and events all round.
The Sacco Review takes readers down memory
lane, in highlighting some of the major happenings
and events within the Sacco industry and
cooperative sector in general from January 2016
to the close of the year in December 2016.
The first East African Co-operatives Conference
for policy-makers, scholars and leaders
of the cooperative movement took place from
February 29th to March 2nd, 2016 at the Laico
Themed “Industrialising East Africa through
Co-operatives,” the conference ran for three days
with a half day field excursion.
In March, the Kenya Union of Savings
and Credit Cooperatives (Kuscco) held a Sacco
Leaders’ Convention at Nairobi’s Laico Regency
The conference saw Saccos implored to
erase the ‘old people’ tag and lure youth within
their mind sets so as to nurture a saving culture
that seems to have been largely lacking among
the youthful population.
Further in March, Kuscco also said that
matatus only formed saccos to meet a legal requirement
by the Transport Licensing Board
(TLB), arguing most matatu saccos have failed
to make monthly contributions that could form
a ready source of cheap credit to improve their
well-being, Kuscco said.
On July 2, the cooperative sector, billed to
be the most vibrant on the African continent, celebrated
Ushirika Day both at the national level
and county levels. In Nairobi, the celebrations
were held at Uhuru Park, and later a colourful
Awards ceremony for best performing Saccos at
Naironi’s Safari Park hotel.
Among some of the winning Saccos for the
national Awards were New Fortis, Bingwa, Ukulima,
Kimbilio Daima, Kimisitu, Kenya Police,
UN Sacco, IG, and Mombasa Port sacco to mention
but a few.
Also in July, Kuscco Managing Director
George Ototo was elected to the World Council
of Credit Unions’ board of directors during the
World Credit Union Conference Annual General
Meeting on Tuesday 19 July in Belfast, Northern
And the same July, former Cabinet Secretary
Joseph ole Lenku was appointed the Chairman of
the Sacco Regulation Authority (SASRA).
From around October, Savings and Credit
Co-operatives (SACCOs) started reducing loan
rates to retain their competitive edge after banks
were forced to cut price of lending in line with the
new interest capping law.
Sacco pricing, which has long kept interest
rates at an average 12 per cent per annum (far
below bank rates) had been their biggest selling
point, earning them steady business. However,
capping of bank interest rates, at 14 per cent,
SACCOs that had priced their loans at as high as
24 per cent are reviewing their price downwards.
October also saw a powerful delegation from Kenya
led by Principal Secretary (PS) for the State
Department of Cooperative, attend the 17th African
Confederation of Cooperative, Saving and
Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) conference
in Kigali, Rwanda, which focused on developmental
needs pertinent to Small and Medium
Further in October, Ms. Hilda Ojall of Kuscco
was elected the new President of the Alliance
Africa Youth Network. She was elected to the
position during the 12th Regional Assembly that
was held in Lemigo Hotel Kigali – Rwanda on
the 31st of October 2016.
Earlier in November, Naku SACCO, rebranded
to Shoppers SACCO. The Shoppers
Sacco mainly draws its members from employees
of Nakumatt, Tuskys and Woolmatt, among
others and has a membership of 16,476.
Other Saccos that rebranded during the year
included Vision Africa Sacco in Nakuru, and
the Kericho based Konoin Sacco which is now
K-Pillar sacco. In Kericho, Imarisha Sacco also
opened Kebo Plaza in Kericho town, a major
Down the Coast region, Imarika Sacco in
Kilifi opened two branches, one in Garsen, Tana-
River County and the other one at Ukunda in
Within Central region, Unison Sacco
launched its marketing vehicles exclusively for
recruitment of members, Mukis sacco celebrated
its Silver Jubilee, Nyeri based Wanainchi sacco
op[ened a branch in Nakuru town, Bishara Sacco
also based in Nyeri opened a branch in Thika
while another Nyeri based Sacco, Taifa launched
a five-year strategic plan.
New Fortis which is billed the best managed
sacco in the country, on the other hand opened a
branch in Othaya while Nairobi based Kimisitu
sacco launched Makao Halisi loan for its members.
Tower Sacco on the other hand celebrated
Simba Chai Sacco, Mombasa Port sacco,
Tai Sacco and IG Sacco also won Champions
of Governance (COG) Awards, while Boresha
Sacco, Qwetu Sacco and Skyline Sacco had
colourful Annual General Meetings (AGMs)
On November 26, 2016 Murata Sacco rebranded
to Amica Savings and Credit. Amica
CEO James Mbui said the SACCO will achieve
its target through a multi-pronged approach that
includes leveraging technology to educate members
to plan their finances better.
In December, the Kenya Police Sacco
launched its plaza in Nairobi’s Ngara area, in
an occasion that was graced by President Uhuru
On a low note, a delegation of over 5,000
leaders from the Sacco sector failed to meet
President Uhuru Kenyatta at State-House Nairobi,
after their meeting was cancelled at the 11th
hour, while expectations of members of the sector
being honoured with Presidential Awards at
the Jamhuri fete did not also bear fruits.
By Stephen Makabila