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Agency recommends prosecution of former Sacco officials over graft

By Ignatius Odanga | Published Sat, August 25th 2018 at 00:15, Updated August 25th 2018 at 00:17 GMT +3

The Commissioner for Co-operative Development Mary Mungai has recommended that former officials of the Busia County Assembly Sacco be surcharged for misappropriating members’ money.

A report by Senior Cooperatives Auditors Simon Ireri and Stephen Kamau implicated the officials in embezzlement of the Sacco’s funds.

The report was unveiled to members by Mr Ireri and Mr Kamau yesterday, bringing to an end a probe into the mismanagement of the Sacco’s resources by the accused officials.

Its findings disclose that at least Sh9 million of the Saccowas missing.

According to the report, some monies were withdrawn from the bank by officials without supporting documents.

Felix Otande, who was the Sacco manager, will be surcharged for allegedly pocketing Sh6.72 million while then secretary Joachim Atenya is to refund Sh1.83 million. Others said to have fleeced the county assembly Saccoare former accountant Dennis Ojaamong (Sh300,000), Christopher Nakitari (Sh50,000), David Kunguru (Sh25,000), Lenard Wanjala (Sh170,000) and Boniface Okumbe (Sh50,000).

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“It is upon them to carry the responsibility and account for the money that was withdrawn,” the report says.

The report concludes that the Sacco had undergone difficult times for the last four years due to misappropriation of funds.

Despite members who are drawn from the county executive and the assembly contributing monthly, they were not benefiting from the loan save for a few.

“There is a big portfolio of non-performing and defaulted loans, part of the loan acquired from Busia County Cooperative Enterprise Fund was wasted by a few individuals,” reads the report.

The report further reveals that poor financial management at the society led to embezzlement of funds.

For the society to survive, Ireri said, best practices of governance must be embraced to ensure members get maximum benefits.

“Members have continued to patronise the society despite numerous challenges it is facing. There is hope that it can be turned around for the economic well-being of its members,” Ireri said.  

Those adversely mentioned in the report have been directed to appear before the Sacco Management on September 3 to state their plans towards repaying the money.

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