By Wesley Ken.
Magereza Sacco is one of the giant savings and credit societies in Kenya that has taken a leap into the property market. The Sacco has bought land in Isinya to sell to its members and non-members. The land is subdivided into parcels of 1 acre and 1/8 acre plots totaling 1, 003.
These plots are available to members at the cost of Sh 290,000 while non-members can buy the same plots at Sh 380,000.
According to Mr. Augustine Mutisya, the Magereza Sacco CEO, the Isinya project which has so far benefited over 1,200 members will be critical in uplifting the lives of members as well as increase the Sacco’s asset base.
“We intend to empower members to own property at a relatively low cost in comparison to what the market offers,” said Mr Mutisya. Magereza has so far invested over Sh 250 million in the Isinya project. The Society has also acquired Mageso Chambers and Mageso Courts both in Nairobi.
Mr. Mutisya said the Sacco has been able to sell quite a number of plots to its members since it was established in 1971. Members continue to show interest in acquiring more land as the Sacco steps up its effort to buy and sell land to members.
Magereza Sacco has set out plans to partner with other organizations, including Co-operative Bank and the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operative Organization (KUSCCO) Limited in future projects.
While selling parcels of land, Magereza Sacco has had to deal with significant challenges such as meeting unique preferences from members who wish to own property in specific geographical areas. “For instance, we have members who prefer to own a piece of land in an area where they are stationed or in areas near their homes. We are thinking of investing in the counties to cater for these interests, “ said Mr Mutisya
Magereza Sacco with over 1,700 members drawn from the Kenya Prisons has been keen to develop products that appeals to its unique membership. The Society plans to increase its asset base from the current Sh 3.2 billion to Sh 5 billion over the next three years. It also plans to establish a call centre and automate all its records.
“With a click of a button, members will soon be able to access information,” said Mr Mutisya. At present, loan disbursements are done fast through a wide branch network. Members can also use M-Sacco- a mobile phone app, to transact. The Sacco has also partnered with Co-operative Bank of Kenya so as to access their ATM network.