Gusii Mwalimu Sacco CEO retires after 30 years of service

Charles Omwansa, the CEO of the giant Gusii Mwalimu Sacco, has called it a day. Omwansa, who has three decades of experience in the Sacco sector, has left the institution with a rich and unrivalled legacy.

The Sacco held a retirement party at Monarch Hotel in Kisii County which was graced by other Sacco members, partners and financial providers who lauded Omwansa for steering the Sacco to greater heights.

Omwansa said when he took over at the helm of the Sacco in 1993, it had 28 staff, a number that had grown to the current 70.

The Sacco had a turnover of Ksh48 million and he has left it at Ksh2.1 billion while the share capital grew to Ksh14 million to Ksh697 million.

The loan portfolio was Ksh441 million and currently stands at Ksh11.5 billion, share capital grew from Ksh523 million to over Ksh9 billion while total reserves grew from Ksh17 million to Ksh2 billion. The Sacco’s asset base grew from Ksh607 million to the current Ksh12.3 billion.

Omwansa noted that under his leadership, dividend/ interest on deposits payout rate has increased to 14 per cent from 3 per cent. Membership currently stands at 38,751.

The former CEO said the Sacco has automated its services and members can access financial services from the comfort of their homes.

“Members can access e-loan of a maximum of Ksh20,000 from anywhere,” Omwansa said, who added that the Sacco has five branches.

He expressed confidence that the Sacco is in good hands and lauded all stakeholders for supporting him to steer the Sacco to growth.

“As I step down from my role, I am confident that the company is in good hands. It has been an honor to serve you as a CEO. I am forever indebted to this Sacco for the experiences, opportunities and the culture it fosters” Omwansa said.

Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperative (KUSCCO) Chief Operating Officer James Ole Nkiti commended the former CEO for ensuring the Sacco remained stable, grew steadily and benefitted members.

“The Sacco’s growth and stability was due to your good leadership and governance,” Ole Nkiti asserted.

He noted that Omwansa’s successor, Jared Moenga, is equal to the task and urged stakeholders to support him.

The Sacco’s Board Chairman David Ogega said the retiring CEO initiated Front Office Service Activity (FOSA), embraced Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and partnered with other service providers to enhance the Sacco’s growth and expansion.

He lauded Omwansa for leaving behind an elaborate departmental framework and branch network.

He noted that the former CEO championed for quality services and technology and leaves behind a team of focused staff, board members and delegates to fulfill pledges to members as enshrined in the Sacco’s operations policies as well as medium and long term plans.

“We believe you will be with us since you are, no doubt the highest investor in the Sacco,” Ogega said.

He noted that the former CEO valued family time and created time to be with his family despite work pressure.

On his part, Moenga noted that as he steps into the role of the CEO, he is committed to building on the legacy of his predecessor and taking the Sacco even to greater heights, stressing, he will provide quality service to the members and stakeholders.

“As a leader, you furnished us with clear direction on what you wanted achieved irrespective of challenges. You equally encouraged us to keep on even when things seemed to be getting tough. You couldn’t take “impossible’’ as an option. We will miss your wisdom” Moenga said.

He added that he is excited to work with the board and staff to continue providing exceptional service to customers and stakeholders.

The CEO pledged to complete and deliver the Sacco’s 2022-2026 strategic plan.

“My approach to leadership is one of collaboration, transparency and accountability. I believe in empowering our employees to make decision and take ownership of their work while also holding myself and others accountable for our actions and results,” Moenga said.

He pledged to listen to ideas, concerns and feedbacks, adding further that his door is open to everyone.

FOSA departmental head Jemimah Munge noted that Omwansa’s positive energy, kindness and advice endeared him to the staff.

“He ensured FOSA had a facelift which ensured customers got efficient and fast service delivery. You have truly made an impact and helped us learn many valuable lessons from your leadership and perseverance,” Munge said.

Internal audit Division head Lewis Maranga said the former CEO created a culture of collaboration, teamwork and supported the department’s work to ensure the highest levels of integrity and compliance within the Sacco.

“He has been a mentor and a role model to us, taught us to think creatively, take calculated risks and always strive for excellence. He was approachable, supportive and made time for us no matter how busy his schedule was,” Maranga said.

Deputy CEO Administration and Operations Nicholas Nyaosi said Omwansa was instrumental in ensuring the Sacco’s culture and core values of integrity, accountability, teamwork, transparency and the professional ethos are upheld in service delivery.

“I’m happy that I met such a great leader who has mentored, nurtured, supported and inspired me in so many ways and for that, I say may God protect you” Nyaosi said.

Human Resource Manager Stephen Ombiro Onserio lauded Omwansa for guiding him, adding further that the former CEO contributed in the improvement of the staff welfare and terms of service.

Secretariat and Board Affairs Dinah Kwamboka said Omwansa’s hard work had paid off.

He described Omwansa as an amazing leader and mentor who deserves joy and peace.

Finance and Accounts Department Winfrida Otwabe said Omwansa’s support helped the Sacco staff grow and develop as professionals.

“We appreciate all you have done to make working at the Sacco a positive learning experience,” he said.

Otwabe lauded Omwansa for sharing his expertise, wisdom and sense of humor. Adding, his career was impressive and an inspiration to the staff.

By Emmanuel Gwakoi

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