PSV Saccos to become coops

By Malachi Motano

The State Department of Cooperatives (SDC) is in the final stages transforming passenger transport Saccos into cooperatives.

The Commissioner of Cooperatives Geoffrey Njangombe, says the process is now only awaiting stakeholder’s sensitization.

Draft by-laws to ensure realization of the transformation and rebranding from PSV Sacco to Trans-coop have already been published.

The by-laws include the decision making organs and implementing structures and their powers.

They focus on how business is conducted in adherence to agreed code of conduct in collaboration with other relevant organs such as the police or licensing bodies in enhancing self-regulation.

The transformation is expected to enable transparent accounting money received in the society; hence the current Sacco business will be delinked from the transport co-operative society.

The SDC therefore plans to carryout nationwide stakeholder empowerment programme on the new development for full implementation.

“We intend to meet with all stakeholders in the matatu industry, through seminars and workshops in different places and towns to help them understand the development,” says Njangombe.

Committee members of the existing PSV SACCOs will attend sensitization meetings on the transformation organised by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and other players in the transport sector.

Each committee will organize sensitization meeting for their members explaining the new changes, implications and ratification of the bylaws then present amended by-laws to the Commissioner of Cooperatives Development for registration.

The PSV owners will be required to brand their vehicles with the name Transport Co-operative (‘Trans- Coop’) or such other agreed acronym for PSV Transport Cooperative Society.

Each society will be required to develop an enforceable code of conduct and all the elected leaders will then go through an intensive training on their expected roles.

They will also train on the creation of unions and federated structures for advocacy, lobbying and representation on the sub county, county and national level of the NTSA structure.

Every transport Society is to consider the possibility of either delinking or strengthening the existing savings and credit as an activity within the society to include all players.

Njangombe said the importance of the sector that is primarily owned by private individuals as well as companies and cooperatives cannot be under estimated as it employs hundreds of Kenyans.

The ripple effect of the industry also impacts positively on others directly and indirectly as evidenced by the matatu sector, whose outreach spreads to touts stationed along the routes, car wash attendants’ mechanics, tea providers and insurance agents.

Astronomical growth of the public service vehicles, particularly Matatu transport co-operatives has created challenges of overcrowding in literally all towns in Kenya.

That has created stiff competition which has forced owners and employees to sometimes engage in unorthodox tactics of providing the service.

“That led to disorderly provision of service as characterized by lack of uniform standards and disregard for prevailing road safety requirements,” he says.

 The State Department for Co-operatives has therefore developed a framework that would ensure structured institutionalization.

 That would guarantee internal self-regulation mechanism and create uniform operational standards across this sub sector.

The government led by Ministry of Transport and NTSA had a prefixed idea based on the success stories portrayed by 2NK, KUKENA and NENO Saccos.

“These Saccos have management teams that are able to create self-regulation structures for route operations coupled with a successful Sacco business model,” says the Commissioner.

That level of management was driven by the leadership style and capability that was not institutionalized as the Saccos by-laws had nothing to do with route management.

 The SDC then adopted a proposal to upscale the model, which had a structural defect that was adopted.

Among the challenges were that despite of the Sacco management gaining the Transport Licencing Board (TLB) password, they lacked the necessary framework to control the actual operations of the vehicles.

 In addition, when the co-operative officers in charge interact with the PSV Saccos as currently constituted their jurisdiction is restricted only to compliance issues revolving around the Sacco activity.

The other challenge faced by the use of the word Sacco on PSV is that it is a misnomer as it does not describe the core activity that PSVs are involved in.

Sacco denotes Savings and Credit Co-operative organization, a financial business whilst PSVs are in transport business.

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