New Co-operatives policy next month

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Feb 15, 2017
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“The consultants will pave way for the
stakeholders’ consultation as we gear up to
the new policy whose draft is complete,”
noted the official.
For the Co-operative Development policy,
a National Leaders Conference should
have been held last year to validate it, but
the process has dragged on for what insiders
attribute to logistical challenges and other
factors.
Commissioner of Co-operatives, Philip
Gichuki noted that the current policy has
been over-taken by dynamics in the sector,
especially after the roll-in of devolution,
and that the new policy will offer direction
on how the National and County governments
operate as far as the Co-operative
sector was concerned.
Gichuki had initially told Sacco Review
that the validation conference was to
be held by last November. “The new policy
will pave way for harmonization of the
Sacco Act and Co-operative Societies Act,
ushering in a new direction as far as running
of the Co-operative sector in the country is
concerned,” noted Gichuki.
Sources within the State Department of
Co-operatives told Sacco Review the Policy
has been cleaned-up and fine-tuned through
financial support from the Agriculture Sector
Development Programme.
The validation conference to be held
before next month is to approve the policy
before it is presented to the Cabinet as a
Cabinet Memo.
“If the Cabinet approves it, it will then
move to the Senate to be tabled by the Senate
Majority leader Prof Kithure Kindiki,
before being moved to the National Assembly,”
a senior official told the Sacco-
Review.
Approval by both Houses of Parliament
will see the Draft policy become a Sessional
Paper to be signed by the President, paving
way for review of the Co-operative laws.
The new policy is expected to clear
grey areas which have been brought
about by the devolved system of government
and ensure a smooth running of
the sector without overlaps between the
National and County governments.
According to Industry, Trade & Cooperatives
Cabinet Secretary, Adan Mohamed,
the government has prioritized
the review of the Co-operative Development
policy, the Sacco Societies Act and
the Co-operative Societies Act in order
to align them to the constitution and the
devolved system of
government.
After ushering in
of the new Constitution,
the Co-operative
movement was
devolved but there
are still grey areas
when it comes to the
exact roles of the
National and County
governments, thus
necessitating a new
guiding policy.
Most of the Saccos
and Co-operatives
through their
apex association,
the Co-operative Alliance
of Kenya (CAK), have been keen
and closely following moves on the review
of the policy, at times organizing
their own forums over the same under
the Alliance.
And some counties for example have
been demanding for powers of registration
of Saccos, a function that is currently
the responsibility of the National
Government.
The PS has maintained that the most
advisable way would be to have a central
registry like the Companies Registry,
noting the work of promoting and
supervising Co-operatives remains with
the County Government and that CECs
have understood the matter and the demand
for County registries have subsided.
The PS has argued that County certificates
will be limiting the growth of
Co-operatives confining them to the
counties

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