By Roy Hezron
The process of establishing the taskforce for the implementation of the National Co-operative Policy is at an advanced stage.
According to Co-operative Commissioner Geoffrey Njang’ombe, letters asking the stakeholders to appoint representatives to the taskforce have been dispatched.
“We have sent out letters to the main stakeholders to appoint representatives in the implementation team to be appointed by the Cabinet Secretary,” Njang’ombe told Sacco Review in a recent interview.
The taskforce will draw representatives from, among others, the Council of Governors, Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra), Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives, Co-operative Alliance of Kenya (CAK), Co-operative Bank and CIC Insurance Group.
Last month, co-operative societies participated in a three-day retreat in Naivasha to familiarise themselves on the content of the policy and the possible areas of interventions.
“They now have a better understanding of the policy,” said the Commissioner.
The taskforce, which is scheduled to complete its work within 90 days, is expected to propose a raft of bills to amend the existing laws that govern the co-operative industry and create structures to implement the policy.
Last year, the Cabinet approved the policy which is meant to establish institutional framework for enhancement of coordination of cooperative societies, deepen the deployment of ICT in the management of saccos and promote good governance of societies.
The Cabinet also approved regulations for non-deposit taking Saccos aimed at protecting Kenyans against risks of poor investment decisions, inadequate transparency and information disclosure, disregard for members’ interests as well as self-preservation by officials of Saccos.
If implemented fully, the policy will restructure Sasra to allow it to regulate all financial cooperatives, create the Cooperative Regulatory Authority for non-financial cooperatives and strengthen the cooperative tribunal which will include mainstreaming the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms.
“The policy proposes measures that will enhance co-operative board effectiveness with a clear separation of management and board roles,” reads a section of the policy.
On the co-operative structure, the policy states: “While retaining the four-tier system to support the growth of the movement, the policy replaces the tier previously known as National Co-operative Organization (NACO) with the federation as a way of enhancing self-regulation within the movement. The new structure seeks to empower the apex organisation CAK, to play its rightful role of advocacy for the co-operative movement.”
On ICT, the policy states that the national and county governments shall work closely with the co-operative movement in mainstreaming the use of ICT, which will include formulating a legal framework that will promote the use of ICT in co-operative business.
The national government is also expected to facilitate the development of e-cooperative platform to enhance service delivery to co-operative societies.