Dairy Cooperative members out management, demand debt payment

Hell broke loose during Sunrise Dairy Cooperative Society in Butali Chegulo ward, Malava constituency annual general meeting after members protested and called for the immediate arrest of staff and individuals who purchased their products and have refused to pay a debt amounting to Ksh218, 000.

The members unanimously agreed to surcharge the debt to the outgoing management for their failure to ensure the society received payments from its creditors.

The irked members, who elected a new management, accused the outgoing office of incompetence and lack of transparency in running the affairs of the society.

During the AGM, it was revealed that the cooperative was struggling to survive and only operating on grants from various organizations.

Its losses stood at Ksh1, 090,000 while its current asset shares stands at Ksh47, 000 despite making sales worth Ksh2.4Million.

Members claimed the accumulated debts had demoralized them from supplying milk to the cooperative, with only 55 members being active out of the 347 registered ones.

It is on record that the society employed an office manager and an accountant who was to keep records of the supplies but the man stole from them Ksh139, 000 through dubious and crafty record keeping.

The accountant was dismissed without paying the cash.

The ousted management was asked why they were unable to call for a meeting whenever they received grants worth Kshs4.4Million from Germany government (GIZ) and Ksh400,000 from the county government of Kakamega among other organizations.

John Lumbatatia, a member, confirmed that from the supervisory committee and auditors report presented, the cooperative society was on its sick bed and needed to be revived through new and fresh leadership.

Former chairman Gideon Lumbasi had a hard time explaining how the management tried to claim the payments by reporting the matter to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) but the matter was still unresolved.

Kakamega county cooperatives auditor Kenneth Kulova when presenting his 2020/21 financial year report told the meeting that the society was insolvent considering the amount of assets it had versus the assets shares.

He asked the management to quickly sit and deliberate on how best they can turn around the Sacco lest it completely crumbled.  

He explained how the Sacco made losses amounting to Ksh1, 090,000 from marketing, governance, operations and administrative costs among others.

Monica Aduke, a cooperative officer, advised the members to utilize the full potential of the plant that can produce 500 litres of milk per day.

She also asked the farmers to stop leaving the marketing aspect of the society solely to the management.

The new elected office led by Wycliffe Gimoi (Chairman), Jessica Namisi (secretary) and Esther Nyaboge (treasurer) assured the members that they will revive the Sacco back to its feet.

The Sacco is expected to be awarded Ksh300, 000 from the county government of Kakamega during this year’s Ushirika day celebrations set to be held on July 1, 2023 at Bukhungu stadium.

By Andanje Wakhungu

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