Governor Kahiga wants Cooperative laws reviewed to avoid duplication

By Asa Maina

Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga wants the next government to review Cooperative laws, saying the current ones have been causing confusion in the running of societies.

He spoke during the 100th International Cooperative Day celebrations in Nyeri town whose theme was ‘Co-operatives Build a Better World’.

Kahiga said the laws have grey areas that ought to be reviewed and the functions fully devolved to give counties powers to fully supervise and regulate their societies.

Though cooperative functions are devolved, some functions have been left with the national government, causing duplication of roles.

“It will be impossible for people in Nairobi to address Societies’ issues in counties as they are not conversant with them,” he said.

Fully devolving the functions will also cut the cost of running the societies as county officers charge Ksh10,000 for inspection services while their national counterparts, from the Commissioner of Cooperatives office, charge up to Ksh0.5 million.

The amount is too much especially at a time societies are working hard to cut on costs so members can benefit more.

He said though the county Cooperative officers have powers to address issues affecting the sector in their counties, some people have been bypassing them and travelling to Nairobi to seek assistance that can be expedited in counties.

On coffee Societies, the governor said members were well paid at a rate of 85 to 125 shillings and warned Boards against politicizing running of societies.

“Those who lose during elections in Cooperatives should concede defeat and stop inciting farmers to fight the institutions,” he said, adding that members had a democratic right to either accept or reject them.

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