Exclude matatus from saccos as they don't save, Kuscco says

Saturday March 26 2016

Acting Coast traffic police boss Solomon Njuguna inspects a matatu believed to have flouted sacco rules by having tinted windows and many colours on January 25, 2016 during a nationwide crackdown against matatus that disregard public transport regulations.  PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Acting Coast traffic police boss Solomon Njuguna inspects a matatu believed to have flouted sacco rules by having tinted windows and many colours on January 25, 2016 during a nationwide crackdown against matatus that disregard public transport regulations. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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Matatus have failed to embrace a culture of saving and should not be members of savings and credit cooperative societies (saccos).

The Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Kuscco) said on Saturday that matatus only formed saccos to meet a legal requirement by the Transport Licensing Board (TLB).

Most matatu saccos have failed to make monthly contributions that could form a ready source of cheap credit to improve their well-being, Kuscco said.

Kuscco chairman Mr George Utoto said only a few matatu saccos had enviable pool of funds that enabled them to improve themselves.

"Neno, 2NK and 4NTE saccos are among the strongest saccos in the country. The rest just hand over their day's contribution to owners, with drivers and conductors paid daily," he said.

In a statement to the press at Crowne Hotel, Upper Hill, in Nairobi, Kuscco said they would deliberate the issue in their upcoming two-day convention starting on March 30.

Kuscco said they would push for matatus' exclusion from saccos and the same be forced to form co-operatives.

"No one can overrule matatus or punish them when they fail to abide by sacco regulations where reports on members' contributions is made to us. Very few attend our training seminars or hold annual general meetings," he said.

RAISING FUNDS

Saccos have been instrumental in raising funds that have enabled members to acquire vast parcels of land, build rental properties and run businesses on behalf of members.

Kuscco has 2,800 affiliate members offering various services from front and back offices, various loan products and manages other projects on behalf of members.

Mr Utoto added that plans were underway to enhance training for sacco leaders on integrity to enhance services within the sector.

Among key requirements of saccos is that they should have officials and a list of members who have a clear timetable of events on election of officials, series of meetings and that all proceedings be minuted for subsequent approval by members.

“While the matatu saccos agreed and signed allegiance to the sacco regulations, that is where it ended after they were back on the road.

“Most of them have no offices or a bookkeeper to maintain records where co-operative officials could visit regularly to inspect books,” he said.

Mr Utoto added that many matatu saccos have turned into personalised cartels where they sell their fleet name to any matatu owner.

The owner would never be bound by the sacco’s rules on remitting contributions as well as have powers to participate in a meeting to elect new officials or vie for positions.

To date, no matatu sacco has been cited for possible disciplinary action for flouting sacco regulations.

In normal circumstances, this could lead to deregistration and blacklisting of leaders from holding any public office for life.