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Managers of coffee society sacked

CENTRAL
By Samuel Gichure | February 10th 2021

Rumukia Farmers Cooperative Society Treasurer Thande Njogu engages Nyeri County Chief of Staff Simon Wachira during a protest by farmer late last year. [File, Standard]

The management of Rumukia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society in Nyeri has been sent home over allegations of financial misappropriation.

The decision to kick out the five-member management committee followed an inquiry by the county government and Department of Cooperatives.

The Commissioner of Cooperatives has consequently ordered the election of a new team to run the society on an interim basis. The election is set for Tuesday next.

The team will oversee the troubled society for three months after which substantive management is expected to be picked.

The outgoing management has been on the spot over a Sh60 million loan taken years ago. The society is now expected to pay back Sh163 million, being the loan borrowed and accrued interest. 

The financier, Taifa Sacco, has threatened to auction the society's assets to recover the money.

Meanwhile, farmers affiliated to the society have distanced themselves from the loan. They said they did not sanction it neither did they benefit from it? 

For years, farmers from eight factories been receiving near nil payments for their produce owing to the debt.

Many have moved to other societies while others have turned to hawking their coffee. 

According to the findings released last week by Assistant Commissioner of Cooperatives Peter Wanjohi, there was carelessness on the part of management as far as financial decisions are concerned and this has been attributed to successive managements since 2012.

“The main problem here was a financial discipline where shortfalls have been financed carelessly through borrowing and this has made the loan portfolio to keep building up every year,” said Wanjohi.

Instead of looking for a lasting solution, he said, the management kept on borrowing to sustain bloated expenses as well as subsidise payments to members to ostensibly please them.

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