Cooperators in State Departments have done a commendable job in promoting the cooperative movement in Kenya.
Today, I write to request the commissioner to consider reviewing the existing cooperative laws.
It’s important to note that different cooperative societies are at different stages of development hence they experience diverse challenges in their operations.
However, the principles of the cooperative movement need to be brought into perspective before all the policies or amendments to cooperatives are adopted.
Unfortunately, at times, the commissioner overlooks this fundamental principle.
An example is the principle of voluntary and open membership. Cooperatives have always adopted retrogressive policies that bar new entrants from being part of their management. More often than not, delegates have always, without justifiable reasons, hiked the minimum share capital required for one to be elected as a delegate to ensure they continue staying in office.
The commissioner should therefore set a law to protect cooperative society members with minority shares from manipulation by the majority shareholders.
In fact, the commissioner should borrow this from company law that has set regulations that ensure minority shareholders are not manipulated but are thoroughly protected.
The commissioner should also ensure there are regulations to protect loan guarantors from cooperatives that attach their assets without the process of trying to seek legal redress.
The use of the law of agency should be relooked within the cooperative movement.
I rise against any proposal for cooperatives to hire independent directors. They should instead hire competent individuals in the Sacco management as well as have experienced cooperators and consultants to offer training and education to the Sacco directors.
The cooperatives should also identify the requisite talents and expertise within their membership and later utilize them within the Sacco.
This will not only be effective but also cost-effective. Let’s protect cooperatives by ensuring no law, policy or regulation will interfere with their mandate.
By Paul Ruo
The author is a police officer currently stationed at National Police College Embakasi. He holds a bachelor’s degree in cooperative business from the Cooperative University of Kenya
Get more stories from our website: Sacco Review
Kindly follow us via our social media pages on Facebook: Sacco Review Newspaper for timely updates.