MOMBASA, Kenya, Mar 20 – The Minister for Cooperative Development Joseph Nyaga has decried the incessant political wrangles stalking majority of cooperative societies saying the worrying trend does not augur well for the future of the movement.
“I’m concerned about the political bickering in most societies and this disturbing trend must stop if the movement is to become relevant to achieve its intended purpose of bringing economic empowerment to Kenyans,” said Mr Nyaga.
The minister cited the widening gap between the rich and the poor as the biggest reason contributing to the infighting in the movement.
“We must help the poor to improve their socio-economic status so as not only to narrow the gap but also fight ravaging poverty,” he noted.
Mr Nyaga made the remarks during the Taita-Taveta Teachers Savings and Credit Society annual delegates’ conference in Wundanyi town.
The Minister who was accompanied by Education Assistant Minister Calist Mwatela, Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu and the chairman of the teacher’s SACCO Alfred Mlowa challenged the Saccos intending to offer banking services to comply with the Sacco Society Regulatory Authority (SASRA).
Mr Nyaga said the authority’s mandate was to license, regulate and supervise Sacco societies particularly those operating front office savings activities (FOSAs) to boost public confidence in the cooperative movement.
“The licensing is mandatory to enhance vigilance on members’ deposits, introduce a protection programme for depositors and set out minimum management and financial standards among other benefits,” said the ODM Nominated MP.
“Cooperative societies must brace themselves to stimulate and take control of economic growth in the counties,” he added.
Mr Nyaga said under the new Constitution one of the function of the county government will be the regulation of cooperative societies hence the need for them to position their operations in order to be able to command great influence in the economic affairs of the counties.
The minister said a ministerial team was already working on the modalities of how the cooperative movement would conform to the provisions of the new constitution in regard to making it relevant in the counties.