By Eric Nyariera
Formation of many small Sacco societies is killing the Co-operative movement in Kisumu County.
Industrialization, Energy, Enterprise and Development County Executive Committee (CEC) member, Johnson Awuor speaking during Ushirika Day celebrations in Kisumu, lamented that although the county has more than 400 registered Saccos, many of them were ineffective.
He said the Saccos lacked resources to boost investments, hence minimal benefits for members. “The number of Saccos in Kisumu County is higher than those in 10 North Eastern Region. Members are languishing in poverty because benefits are minimal,” Awuor added.
Many Sacco societies have very few members and, therefore, cannot benefit from economies of scale and earn high dividends for members, he noted.
The County government was working on a policy framework to halt formation of ineffective Saccos, he said.
Although the law allows for 10 people or more to come together and form a society, the policy framework will aim at making sure the region has fewer but efficient Sacco societies, he said.
Awuor attributed the high number of Saccos in the region to disgruntled officials who leave major Saccos to form their own Saccos after they are ousted from office.
He revealed that those who apply for registration of new Saccos are usually members of factions that have broken away from the mother Saccos, and are either motivated by the need to maintain their leadership positions or financial gains.
The CEC member who was accompanied by Chief Officer, Seline Obonyo, County Commissioner for Cooperatives, Zephaniah Osok, Kisumu West/Seme Sub County Cooperative Officer, Debra Achieng and her Kisumu East Sub county counterpart, Irene Maraga, said there is need for a change of attitude among the locals to boost members’ benefits.
He blamed non-performance of some Saccos on poor governance and lack of integrity. Osok said leadership of the cotton and rice Cooperatives will be streamlined through merger of the smaller uneconomical Cooperatives.
“We will also recruit boda boda and matatu operators into Saccos,” he added.