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New special crime unit set to rein in rogue sacco officials

Saturday February 16 2019

John Munuve

Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority chairman John Munuve during the release of the report on financing by saccos at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Nairobi Friday. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A co-operative societies’ special crimes investigations platform is set to be unveiled in a month’s time to reign in rogue sacco officials who mismanage members’ assets.

Industry, Trade and Co-operatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the platform will facilitate collaboration between the Saccos Regulatory Authority (Sasra), the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in tackling theft and fraud bedeviling co-operatives and mainly perpetrated by rogue officials.

Mr Munya made the remarks in Nairobi during the release of a Sacco Societies Sectoral Financial report Friday.

The announcement comes amid mounting complaints within the sacco fraternity that some unscrupulous individuals were riding on the model’s popularity to enrich themselves at the expense of savers.


“A memorandum of understanding activating collaboration between Sasra, DCI and EACC will facilitate prompt action on any criminal activities within saccos where errant leaders will be investigated, prosecuted and punished,” Mr Munya said in a speech read on his behalf by State Department of Co-operatives Principal Secretary Susan Mochache. Sasra chairman John Munuve supported Mr Munya’s call saying some unscrupulous individuals were giving the sacco fraternity a bad name by luring Kenyans to join their  fake outfits only to use the money raised to enrich themselves.

“This are bad eggs that must be destroyed. Sacco leaders across Kenya must report errant saccos to us to facilitate punitive action which will help restore the reputation of saccos,” he said.

Mr Munya said graft, member savings safety and fraudulent conduct will guide the formulation of  new measures set to be rolled out soon.

Sasra’s oversight is mainly on deposit taking saccos, which leaves thousands of savers at risk of fraud from the loosely regulated non-deposit taking entities which fashion themselves as genuine investment vehicles.

The report, which sampled loans taken by members in 245 co-operative societies, found that the land and housing sector dominated loans taken at 36.2 per cent valued at Sh118.8 billion benefiting 6,319 members.

The trade sector had 6,033 members receiving Sh67.3 billion while 12,021 sacco members got Sh47.9 billion for social use within their families, another 11,125 members took home Sh39.4 billion to fund education pursuits.