Saccos urged to embrace all sectors of the economy

By Malachi Motano

Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (Saccos) must now tap into all sectors of the economy following the government’s budget for the 2021/22 fiscal year.

According to the Director of Cooperatives Banking Division at the Cooperative Bank Vincent Marangu, the country has opened up now and is witnessing many business activities opening up too.

“Looking at what the government has done in the budget such as increasing allocation in agriculture sector and also housing, cooperatives can tap and benefit from this,” he said.

He singled out the coffee, tea and even dairy sectors as great beneficiaries that since the stabilization of the dollar shall help the cooperatives to tap into them.

“This meeting comes at a time when the economy is in recovery, the global economy is as well opening up and there is optimism that trade and facilitation of global commodities can access markets,” he said

The Director also indicated that the general outlook is very promising for housing cooperatives since more funds were assigned to affordable housing docket in the burget

The director indicated that the current budget also emphasized on deficit gap that needs to be financed.

“We are going to see a lot of demand by government on internal borrowing and although it will not be good for private institutions, it shows that Saccos with excess liquidity can benefit from other type of investment instruments even as the governments appetite for funding increases,” he said.

He says they are optimistic that cooperatives will remain as resilience just like during global financial crisis in 2008/09 where they demonstrated resilience.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, the cooperative sector has withstood and we expect that cooperatives will be careful when lending and will be able to recover. The general outlook is very promising and CAK is doing a good job on what needs to be done,” the director said.

In attendance included the deputy director Reports and Data management at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Susan Kinyeki who said that they have partnered with CAK to address the numerous malpractices in the movement.

“We have gotten reports on malpractices; some are under investigations while others we have referred them to multi- agencies,” she said.

She said that that for the last 5 years now EACC has received over 300 reports with over 50 currently under investigations.

 “We are advising the cooperatives to identify risk areas in their Saccos and mitigate them,’’ he added.

The Executive Director and CEO of CAK Daniel Marube explained that the audit and supervisory meeting was to ensure proper financial management in the cooperative societies.

He acknowledge that members of the audit committee play a significant oversight role on behalf of members which include  monitoring and evaluation on how the board of directors and management staff run the affairs of cooperatives.

“We need to strengthen and equip the supervisory members on how they can execute their mandate in strengthening the good governance so that we do not have ethical and audit issues in our Saccos,” Marube said.

He said much attention should be given to ICT, Cyber security or even how to detect fraud in order to minimize the risk.

“The supervisory members working and providing services to cooperative societies should be equipped with appropriate and relevant tools to become good auditors and good financial managers in order to safeguard the resources of our members,” Marube said.

They were at a three days national supervisory and audit committee workshop for Cooperative Alliance of Kenya (CAK) in Tsavo held under the theme: “Role of the supervisory committee members in the cooperative in bringing transformation and good governance and prudential financial management, in cooperative societies

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