By Pascal Mwandambo
Concerns have been raised over the large number of dormant Cooperative societies in Taita-Taveta County.
Addressing members during the County Cooperative leaders’ meeting at Dan Mwazo Hall in Voi town, acting county Cooperative Commissioner Erastus Gonzi said out of the 210 Co-op societies, only 98 were active.
“Stakeholders in the cooperative sector must work out modalities of reviving the dormant societies so that they can fill the gap in service delivery,” said Gonzi.
He said that for those Societies which were unsalvageable, the members must come out clear on what is to be done with the assets.
The commissioner cited societies dealing in mining as the most affected.
“Despite the vast mining potential in the county, the Cooperatives in this important sector are virtually dead,” said Gonzi.
He suspected the reason for this was the secrecy in which gemstone dealers operate.
“For many years dealing in minerals has been treated with a lot of secrecy with some dealers jittery about working through Cooperatives for fear of not getting favourable deals,” he said.
He pointed out that misleading notions that gemstone trade was demonic had discouraged some people from engaging in the trade.
He also said that despite there being at least 20 boda boda Saccos in the county, only one, Taveta Usafiri, was active.
He called on Saccos to keep off divisive politics, which could affect their performance.
“Coop societies are basically business entities and they should steer off politics if they are to operate freely,” he said.
Gonzi at the same time pointed out that the county had enough auditors and asked societies to prepare their books for auditing when the need arose.