By Benedicto Ng’etich
The Chairman of Simba Chai Savings Co-operative Society Engineer Joseph Mitei has complained of the high rate of taxation directed at co-operative societies in the country.
He said co-operatives should come together and lobby legislators to formulate laws which are friendly to saccos.
“We want people elected into various political offices to come up with rules and regulations that will reduce taxation on the co-operative sector and also introduce measures to cushion the members of the societies in the grassroots level,” he said.
On his part, the Director of Unilever Tea Company asked the Government to waive loans accrued by coffee, sugar and tea farmers.
“The biggest challenge faced currently is the issue of much loans brought forward,” he said.
Mitei, speaking during this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations at the Kericho Primary School challenged saccos managers to exercise good governance pointing out that corruption was the major ailment facing many saving societies.
He called on saccos to introduce training schemes for their board of management, staff and if possible extend to their members so as to realise good performance.
“An example of good training is the one offered by Pension Schemes to its managers and staff which has seen improved performance,” he added.
The youth, he observed, were the future strength of saccos and challenged managers to woo them through appealing programmes.
“All saccos should evolve through the inclusion of youths. This can be done by introducing products which attracts them,” he added.
The director advised co-operators to unite so as to influence political choices through identifying and supporting particular candidates who have goodwill towards saccos issues.
“Let’s get right people who understand about co-operatives. People are elected on the basis of interests nowdays,” he said.
The Chairman of the Ushirika Day celebrations, Kericho Chapter, Wesley Ngeno asked the County government of Kericho to involve all stakeholders in the formulation of the County Co-operative Societies Bill, which was underway.
He said liquidity was a big challenge and requested the county government to set up an Enterprise/Co-operative Liquidity Fund, “so as to have quick and smooth flow of the cash enabling it to have muscle to face the dynamic competitive environment.”
“It is clear co-operatives are part of the solution in this country. Kenyans should embrace the culture of savings through saccos so as to reap benefits in the industry,” he said.