Elgeyo Marakwet County Government has deployed cooperative officers to all 20 wards as it prepares for the hustlers’ fund to be launched by the President on December 1st.
Governor Wisley Rotich said the officers will be required to train residents on the formation of SACCOs and the development of the cooperative movement as well as assist in reviving those that have collapsed.
Speaking at his office in Iten, the Governor said the officers who will reside in their respective wards will help in providing close supervision to the Saccos saying in the past most of them collapsed due to lack of monitoring as cooperative officers were based at the sub-county and county level.
“Most of our SACCOs would have survived if there was close supervision as problems would have been addressed as they arise instead of waiting until they blow out of proportion,” Rotich said.
He said once formed, the SACCOs will not only benefit from the hustler fund but also all government services at both the national and county level will be accessed through the Saccos such as the provision of subsidized fertilizer, seeds, and any assistance from donors.
Noting that most of the Saccos face challenges in auditing, the governor said three auditors will be based at the headquarters but will be moving around the county to audit the Saccos adding that they will be digitized to ensure the proper management and keeping of records.
“The three auditors are inadequate to offer auditing services to all the SACCOs but with time the county will hire more in a bid to ensure that all the SACCOs accounts are up to date,” he said.
The governor said due to budgetary constraints, his government had redeployed officers from different departments but said they were qualified in cooperative matters adding that they will continue offering them the necessary training.
Rotich called on women groups to come together and form rural SACCOs which can offer them loans at affordable interest for them to grow their businesses in line with the bottom-up economic approach.
He advised residents to ensure they elect leaders who have integrity and who will manage the SACCOs in a prudent manner. “Don’t elect leaders with integrity issues as they will mismanage your Saccos leading to their collapse,” he advised them.
The governor said that in his endeavor to ensure that wananchi access services at the grassroots under the Huduma Mashinani programme, he will engage the county assembly to allocate funds for the purchase of motorbikes to ensure that officers at the ward level are facilitated to deliver services to the whole ward.
By Alice Wanjiru