By Munene Maina
Agnes Mwenje, the Chief Executive Officer of County Sacco-based at Kanja Market in Runyenjes, Embu County is the engine behind this Society.
She has turned County Sacco into a leading financial institution that provides market-driven products and services to its members.
Mwenje, aged 30 years has been at the helm of County Sacco since 2014 and is one of the young women leading a Sacco. It is under her watch that County Sacco has installed new software to enhance service delivery to members. She is confident that the Sacco is on the right path and is destined to grow even further.
Mwenje traces her leadership skills to Kanguru Girls High School where she completed her ‘O’ level education before she proceeded to Mt Kenya University for Bachelors of Commerce (Finance Option) degree. She has also undertaken Certified Public Accountant (CPA) courses.
She recalls her first days as CEO of County Sacco, describing them as challenging. “Some members were being poached by a rival firm and this led to increase in loan defaulters,” said Mwenje. She has since brought this situation under control and reduced the ratio of non-performing loans by listing members with the Credit Reference Bureaus.
She has kind words for Charles Kenda, the County Sacco Chairman whom she says has always offered advice and technical assistance to the management and is considered Mwenje’s mentor. Although she had ambitions of being a banker, Mwenje is not disappointed at joining the Sacco industry-a profession she begun working for in 2011 as a clerk.
Having been promoted to an Assistant Clerk and Operations Manager, Mwenje become CEO of County Sacco when the former holder left and the position advertised. Although she applied got the job and confirmation from the Board, Mwenje still had her doubts on whether she would make the cut. But all that is now water under the bridge as Mwenje strives daily to put members’ interests first.
Upon confirmation of her appointment by the Board, she had her doubts but she has overcome them and takes her duties with gusto and temerity. Even her then doubters now approve her.
A soft spoken mother of one, Mwenje said that working within the locality where she was born and brought up is a joy while challenging at the same time.
“You have to handle members of the Sacco with care and be neutral no matter your relationship with them,” said Mwenje. She appreciates the support from the Board and staff members, and is focused on taking the Sacco to greater heights. Her advice to young girls is always strive to be the best.