The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has sounded an alarm over what it terms as increased complaints related to abuse of office, embezzlement and misappropriations of funds, bribery, breach of trust and tax evasions in the SACCO sector.
EACC Chairman, Dr. Eliud Wabukala, warned SACCO society players against corruption and unethical practices in the multi-billion sector.
SACCOs play a key role in realization of Vision 2030 through mobilization of savings for the country’s investment needs.
According to the EACC Chairman, the Commission in fulfilling its mandates, received and analyzed three hundred and seventy-two (372) complaints, touching on cooperative Societies from the year 2013 to 2020.
Out of these, forty-seven (47) fell within the mandate of the Commission and were taken up for investigations. About 31 of these complaints are touching on maladministration involving low and middle ranks of Saccos countrywide.
“It is important to note that, one hundred and fourteen (114) of these complaints, translating 31 per cent of the total reports, were touching maladministration, which is a mandate of the regulator, SASRA. The reports also revealed that 91 per cent of the persons involved were in the low and middle ranks of the institutions,” Wabukala noted.
According to Wabukala, in the past five years, the Commission concluded investigations into 1,000 corruption and related cases and in close collaboration with the DPP, secured convictions in 169 cases out of the 275 corruption cases finalized in various Courts.
“In addition, the Commission recovered corruptly acquired assets worth approximately Sh25 billion and disrupted possible loss of public funds worth approximately Sh30.4 billion. Further, the EACC has successfully traced is pursuing forfeiture of approximately Sh25.5 billion by public officers found to own unexplained wealth,” he added.
Wabukala made the remarks during the official opening of a capacity building training of the Corruption Prevention Committee (CPC) and staff of the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) in Mombasa, Monday.
The Commission has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Department for Cooperatives aimed at combating and preventing corruption in the cooperatives sector.
Wabukala underscored that SASRA as the regulating body, has registered about 180 licensed SACCOs in the Country controlling huge amounts of resources, therefore, it was prudent for the sector to fully embrace transparency and accountability.
According to the SASRA Reports it is noteworthy that assets of Deposit-Taking SACCOs account for 5.7 per cent of the National Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and that SACCOs asset base has been increased by 12.4 per cent from Sh495 billion in 2018 to Sh556.7 billion in 2019.
“This makes the SACCOs key players in realization of Vision 2030 through mobilization of savings for the Country’s investment needs. Resources of such a high magnitude ought to be applied prudently with utmost transparency, accountability and sound leadership,” Wabukala said.
By Chari Suche