Malava Teachers Housing Sacco Dismiss Claims of Funds Misuse


Officials at the Malava Teachers Housing Co-operative Society have come out to strongly condemn the utterances by the region’s Kenya National Teacher’s Union (KNUT) that there were misappropriation of funds at the co-operative, terming the allegations as propaganda meant to portray them as corrupt. They cited that, there were plans by the union to replace the Sacco officials with their affiliates.

During their Annual General Meeting at Malava, the society’s board of directors led by the chairperson John Lumbatatia refuted the utterances by KNUT officials saying that they were reckless and meant to spread malice among the co-operative members. While he agrees to be part of the purge, he did put across that he has helped steer the organization to greater heights with major objective of putting up a Sh50 million plaza for its members.   

Lumbabatia noted that the allegations from KNUT officials surfaced after the realization that National Co-operative Housing Union (NACHU) – the umbrella body of the housing co-operative – had approved Sh20 million for the plaza before the Covid-19 pandemic led to the reversal of the decision to release the funds.

“Since the outbreak of this deadly disease, we have not had any meetings, AGMs (until now), trainings and workshops for our members and this has led some Knut officials to start thinking that we could have embezzled the funds meant to conduct these activities but i want to assure them that all is well as they will hear from both the supervisory and the auditor’s reports which will be read to them here in this meeting.” said Mr. Lumbabatia.

He however agreed that two years without training was a risky affair, saying there was need to kick off training programs that would enable both the board and members be updated with the current information on how well to run the organization.

“Let not KNUT propagate lies that Malava Housing Co-operative was going under and instead should be on the forefront of bringing on board more teachers from the union as it has been a key pillar as far the running of the organization is concerned” He added.

The fears of the KNUT officials were proved when the County Director of Co-operative Audit Kenneth Kulova presented the audited financial statement for the year ended 31 December 2020, concluding that the co-operative was ‘insolvent’. A move that saw the KNUT officials seek further explanation.

The Sub county Co-operative Officer Monicah Aduke assured members that the society was still growing and that it is among those recognized in the country while encouraging them to put more shares towards the plaza – a long term investment. She also asked the KNUT office to support the society by recruiting more members.

In the report to the Malava teachers housing, the audit expressed its independent opinion on the financial statements to ensure that the statements are free from material misstatements.

“We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion and during the exercise we noted that the society is insolvent as its current liabilities are more than its current assets.

Kulova made it clear that it could be impossible for the society to refund its members at once if they ceased being members.

It is here that some of the KNUT officials queried the financial position of the society highlighting the two years they did not organize an AGM.

This prompted the chairman to request the auditor to break it down in layman’s language for the members to understand the financial language following numerous questions over the state of the cooperative.

“Our members do not quite understand these financial jargon and that why we need to quickly put in place necessary strategies for the board, supervisory, committees and subcommittee members to undergo vigorous training so that they can clearly understand what the auditor report entails but in the meantime please interpret to them as the point is clearly misinterpreted by many,” He insisted.

After the auditor explained to the members to their satisfaction, he concluded that the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the society’s financial affairs as of 31 December 2020 and the results of its operations and cash flow for the year in question was in accordance to the international financial reporting standards and the Kenyan cooperative societies act.

The supervisory committee Chairlady Beatrice Mukopi while presenting the report on the progress of the society acknowledged the growth of membership and ruled out fears that they were collapsing although she agreed that the pandemic had affected their smooth-running and service delivery just like other organizations within the country.

She also pointed out the need to overhaul some areas in their bylaws which were last reviewed in 2016. This would help specify how long a board member should serve where they proposed two terms, totaling to six years and also dealt on the need for the board member contributing in schemes; housing, education and plaza therefore serving as a role model in all the three.

The committee also proposed to expand its scope of operations to cover the entire Kakamega County unlike currently where the election policy has only narrowed to Malava Sub-county.

The chairlady assured members that they were stable with savings in various financial institutions proving them as financially competent enough to run its operations for years to come without hitches.

Joseph Mwenesi Mwatia, a society member accused some colleagues for siding with KNUT to fight the board of directors despite their efforts in uplifting the society to greater achievements.

The member also mentioned the grapevine gossip about the misappropriation of funds but said it was bad and against the society rules to talk ill of its management yet it has investments worth millions in various financial institutions including NACHU, KUSCCO, IT and the plaza.

“The board of directors has done a tremendous job of securing a loan for the plaza but the way things are moving, opponents are hell-bent to replace the chairman but word is that they are also targeting the coming plaza funds where they want to control the investment and have a slice at the same time. As members we are calling upon the supervisory committee to be more vigilant of our financial cookie jar which is attracting unnecessary attention.” concluded the irate member.

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