DBy Jackson Okoth
It was one of the most gratifying moments as Saccos from virtually all sectors of the economy featured at Uhuru Park Nairobi, to mark the 94th International Co-operatives Day. The event, also known as Ushirika Day, was commemorated in all the counties.
There was jubilation, song and dance, each time a society’s name was called to the trophy podium, especially for those Saccos which managed to scoop trophies at the national event in Uhuru Park, while also dominating the winners’ charts at the county level.
A glimpse into the winning co-operative societies at the national event reveals the dominance of teacher-based societies, which included New Forties, Mentor Sacco and Mwalimu National that picked up trophies in most of the categories.
Top on the winners’ list at the Ushirika Day National event was New Forties Sacco, which won six trophies.
The Sacco was ranked the Best Managed Co-operative nationally followed by Simba Chai and Bingwa Sacco. It was also named the Best Managed Teachers Sacco and was 3rd as the Teacher Sacco with the Highest Dividend payout.
New Forties also received a trophy in the Best Banking Services for Teachers Sacco and was ranked second as the Sacco with the Best Insurance Services. The Society further received an award as Sacco whose members had the HighestAverage Savings per member in the Teacher Sacco category, after Mwalimu National.
The Sacco started asNyeri Teachers Savings and Credit Co-operative Society in 1976,with a membership of 857, drawn from the teaching fraternity in primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions in the larger Nyeri District, now Nyeri County.
It has since amended its by- laws to expand its catchment area to other counties and opened up membership to include civil servants all over the country. As at March 2015, its membership stood at 9,639 with 23members of staff.
Bingwa Sacco scooped seven trophies at the National Ushirika Day fete while Mentor Sacco, formerly Murang’a Teachers, also won several trophies including second Best Managed Teachers’ Sacco after New Forties, second highest dividend payer in the Teachers Sacco category and Second Best Banking
Ukulima Sacco was third in the table of winners, scooping two trophies as third Best Performing Sacco in the Public Sector and Second in terms of highest attendance at the National fete. Simba Chai was also voted the Best Managed Company Sacco and the second Best Managed Co-operative nationally behind New Forties.
Other notable national award winners were Kenya Police Sacco which won the trophy for Highest Dividend payout for Saccos in the public sector, Mombasa Port which was voted the Best Managed Parastatal Sacco while Mwalimu National won in the Sacco with Highest Average Savings per member in the Teachers Saccos category.
In the Best Managed Innovative Sacco category, the top national position was taken by Yetu Sacco followed by Stima Sacco and Co-operative Bank Sacco. In the Public Sector, the best performer was Sheria Sacco followed by Jamii and UkulimaSaccos.
Shirika Sacco also graced the podium and was feted as Sacco with Best Loan Savings countrywide and one with the Lowest Expenditure.
In total, 157 trophies were awarded at the national event to various co-operative societies competing in more than 50 categories. Over 70 co-operative societies participated in a rigorous evaluation exercise before winners were picked.