New Law to Allow Anti-Graft Authorities to Investigate and Prosecute Saccos Officials

  • Ekeza Sacco investors engaging police in running battles. The Standard
  • A new cooperative pact signed between State Department of Co-operative Development and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) will see the anti-graft body carry out regular lifestyle audits on Sacco officials in a bid to curb misappropriation of funds.

    Speaking during the unveiling of activities to mark CIC Insurance Group Golden Jubilee Celebration, Cooperatives Principal Secretary Ali Noor Ismail reiterated that the move is aimed at restoring confidence in Kenyan Saccos.

    He termed Saccos as institutions credited with mobilizing funds for social good.

    “We signed a cooperative pact with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission that empowers them to directly take action to prevent corruption, prosecute economic crimes and flag unethical practices in the cooperative sector,” expressed Ali.

    Ekeza Sacco investors barricade roads during a protest in March

    The new move will see rigorous vetting and background checks for people seeking office in cooperative societies.

    “Cooperative officials will undergo regular lifestyle audits and where they are found to have embezzled cooperative funds, their asset will be seized to recover lost cash. Every election hopeful will undergo vetting before seeking office in any cooperative society,” added the Principal Secretary.

    This is an attempt to ascertain the credibility of officials prior to their assumption of office.

    This comes in the wake of controversial televangelist David Kariuki Ngare, popularly known as Gakuyo, siphoning Ksh1 billion belonging to 78,000 members, mostly small business owners, of the troubled Ekeza Savings and Credit Cooperative Society.

    Gakuyo and his wife Hannah Wachu were co-directors at Ekeza Sacco, began by asking Kenyans to invest their money to help the company run the business and in return reap a two percent monthly interest. It steadily grew into a fully-fledged cooperative society prior to it being rocked by graft allegations.

    State Department of Co-operative Development PS Ali Noor Ismail speaking at a previous event