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Cash strapped sacco rebrands, amid customers confusion

Members of Urithi Premier Sacco, associated with the embattled Urithi Housing Cooperative Society have expressed their fears over its recent rebranding, claiming it was a camouflage to hide its tainted identity.

They said the rebranding was meant to confuse customers to invest their shares in a ‘sinking’ ship.

The Sacco changed name to Anchor Premier Sacco during the Sacco’s AGM Saturday, with the Chairman Pius Thuku Ndung’u stating that it was meant to allow new customers differentiate between the Sacco and Urithi Housing Cooperative.

He said it was also meant to appeal to new customers seeking financial services.Ndung’u was at pains to convince the customers who sought answers on why it has been difficult to access loans in time and its low dividend rates.

“The business environment has been difficult not only for us, but to all companies. A big number of our customers have withdrawn from the Sacco, which is a concern to us; but we hope the rebranding would increase customer confidence,” he explained.

Most of the customers who are members of both entities, sought for refund of monies they spent in buying plots through the Housing Cooperative.

Moses Kisindi, a resident of Embu who bought land through the Urithi Housing said despite paying Sh350, 000 two years ago at Ishiara area, they are yet to receive the land.

“We are losing our fortunes to the suspicious activities of these two entities. We call for investigations to prevent them from doing harm to many to more customers,” he said.

Gladys Muthoni and Catherine Njoroge feared they might lose their savings from the rebranded entity, saying they lacked confidence with the management.

“Instead of looking for other dynamics to increase asset base and valuation, like engaging in land selling, improving its technology and train workforce for better services, they have rebranded just to confuse us and other new customers,” said Muthoni.

However, the Sacco Chairman assured that the organization was on an upward trajectory, and would soon recover from the hard business environment.

He said they intend to change its structure and streamline activities to enable the Sacco expand membership and asset base.

“So many people fail to distinguish between the two. Ours is a Sacco whose functions are limited to savings and giving out loans. It is not an investment company,” he said.

He said the negative publicity that the Housing branch has received over the years has affected the Sacco, hoping that they would soon get their act together.

The Sacco had about 8000 customers and is valued as Sh560 million, though more than 3000 members were withdrawing.

By Muoki Charles

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