Tough rules loom for those eyeing sacco leadership positions
Members of cooperative societies intending to seek leadership positions in their institutions must have a minimum education level of Form Four and conform to Chapter Six on Integrity as outlined in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
The new Cooperative Society Bill 2021 indicates that the sector will benefit in terms of restored sanity and against corrupt tendencies and gross mismanagement of members’ hard-earned resources by leaders.
Agriculture and Co-operatives Development Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya explained that the bill once enacted into law will address key challenges in the sector such as poor governance, leadership wrangles, cybercrime, low technology adoption, poor implementation of current regulations and competition from other sectors of the economy.
The introduction of the education qualification makes it hard for those who in the past could be elected due to their popularity while having low education level or little knowledge on co-operatives.
“Government in conjunction with the movement players seek to restore sanity and enhance efficiency and the movement’s capacity to respond to the current business environment realities,” said Munya during a sensitisation meeting for co-operatives leadership on the Bill in Masai Mara.
“Even though the bill has taken long since the passing of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, we are hopeful the leadership of Parliament houses – National Assembly and Senate will help in fruitful discussions and enactment as stipulated in the Constitution Kenya of 2010.
This will help in delineating the mandates of national and country governments.”
But largely the bill, Munya said, will help restore gaps in the movement that have emerged following the past amendments of the Cooperatives Act in 1997 and 2004.
The amendments of the legislation then led to reduction of government role in the co-operative sector and liberalisation leading to collapse of some of the societies, for instance coffee farmers’ saccos.
Commissioner for Co-operatives David Obonyo explained that the Bill has proposed creation of a nomination committee to vet leaders seeking elective positions.
The committee that will comprise between three and five members that include county director, general manager or chief executive officer of the particular co-operative society and an expert tapped from a professional organisation will be annually appointed by the cooperative members.
Leaders eyeing various positions will have to apply for the same and must have fulfilled qualifications on education level, fulfillment of the Chapter 6 on Integrity and adherence to the cooperative society by-laws.
“During the election day the committee members will read out the names of all those who applied for various leadership positions, those who failed the test and those to be subjected to the elections,” said Obonyo.