Unaitas Sacco over the weekend held its virtual annual general meeting (AGM), with members approving Sh470 million in cumulative returns on shares and savings.

Members own shares in the Sacco besides the deposits held in the institution that is closer to becoming a commercial bank.

A breakdown of the payout indicates that Sh270 million was on investments while Sh200 million was interest on deposits.

This is higher compared to Sh400 million paid out during the previous year. However, despite increased total payout, 2019 was a worse year, returning only seven per cent compared to eight and nine per cent respectively for the years 2018 and 2017.

“The growth in performance is attributed to confidence in governance and management structures and aggressive business development strategies we have put forth,” said Unaitas Chief Executive Martin Muhoho.

Public meetings

The sacco, founded by tea farmers in Central Kenya, has grown membership to over 320,000. Nairobi County Director of Cooperatives Dolphin Aremo officiated the virtual AGM, which was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is in line with the government's directives banning public meetings to enforce social distancing rules.

“The plan is to have the various delegates following the proceedings online but they will have an opportunity to fully participate despite them being apart from each other,” said Muhoho.

Before Covid-19 pandemic, Unaitas Sacco had scheduled the AGM in Nairobi aimed at breaking past chain of hosting the annual meetings in Murang'a.

Going virtual helped the Sacco, for the first time hold a meeting attended by delegates from the 26 branches countrywide.

It had received regulatory approvals to open a branch in Mombasa last month, but was curtailed by movement restrictions.

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