By Kamau Njoroge
Members of Anchor Premier Sacco, formerly Urithi Premier Sacco, can now heave a sigh of relief after the new management rolled out plans to recover their properties that are still held up by Urithi Housing Co-operative Society Limited.
The Sacco, which has been associated to Urithi, rebranded three years ago by dropping the name Urithi and replacing it with Anchor as it sought to aloof itself from the troubled Urithi Housing co-operative society after sustained misapprehension of the two.
According to Vice Chairperson Joseph Mbai, most members had secured loans and bought properties from Urithi but they are yet to receive land ownership documents including title deeds from Urithi management.
Mbai said that members had lost hope of recovering their money and land parcels that they had purchased due to poor management that had threatened to run-down the Sacco three years ago.
He divulged that unscrupulous individuals who were at the helm of the Sacco leadership had pilfered members’ funds leading to mass withdrawals by the shareholders.
“After we rebranded and separated with Urithi Housing, all members’ details including their accounts and shares were transferred to the new Sacco. Most members gave up and still believe they lost their money and properties. We are however appealing to everyone who was a member of Urithi Premier Sacco to visit Anchor Sacco offices because shares are still intact and we are in the process of recovering their properties,” Mbai said.
Mbai who was speaking during a Special General Meeting held in Thika on Saturday noted that the Sacco had over 8,000 members but currently only 3,000 members are active. The Sacco has eight branches across the country with the nineth one set to be opened in Migori on January next year.
The Vice Chairman divulged that the Sacco leadership will be meeting with Urithi Housing officials including Chairman Samuel Maina in January next year for reconciliation and auditing of all projects with an aim of establishing the properties belonging to Anchor Sacco members.
“We have written a letter to Urithi Housing management and we will be meeting them on January 18, 2023. We want a thorough audit of all projects be carried out so that we can fast track issuance of title deeds to our members. This is why we are telling our members that all is not lost, they will get the properties they bought,” he said.
Mbai said that even in cases where members’ parcels had disputes, the Sacco board will intervene and ensure that the dispute is resolved amicably and that the members get their land parcels.
He noted that since the rebranding and subsequent election of a new board, the Sacco is registering tremendous growth. For instance, the Sacco’s assets have grown from sh 50 million to sh 450 million in a span of less than three years. Also, the Loan book is expected to hit sh 2 billion by the December next year.
“The Sacco was on its deathbed due to bad leadership but the efforts the new management has put has enabled it stand on its feet again. New members are registering with us in large numbers and we have managed to regain our financial muscles. We are even hoping to give our members dividends in April next year, something the Sacco has not done for the last three years,” he said.
At the same time, the Sacco leadership called on the government to consider disbursing the Hustler Fund through the saccos claiming that it’s through the Saccos members and especially those in the SME sector can managed to secure substantial loans to establish and grow their enterprises.
“Saccos have a proper structure for disbursing and recovering funds. Again through Saccos Kenyans can be able to secure a considerable amount of money enough for starting and sustaining a business. We are appealing to the government to consider reaching out to millions of Kenyans through Saccos,” said John Gathogo, the Supervisory Committee Chairman.
Anchor Sacco members led by Monica Nyambura hailed the new leadership for restoring hopes that they will get their properties back.
“We had lost hope and actually had given up on our money and land parcels. We are however grateful to our leaders who are working tirelessly to put things straight and restore the integrity of the Sacco,” Nyambura, who joined the Sacco in 2016 said.