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By BRIAN NGUGI AND LILLIAN KIARIE

Commissioner for Co-operatives Development Mary Mungai has extended an inquiry into the operations of Ekeza Sacco by 15 days starting January 17.

A Kenya Gazette notice on Friday said the extension would facilitate the completion of the investigations initially announced last December.

The sacco had been in the spotlight over mismanagement of members’ funds.

“Whereas the Commissioner for Co-operatives vide an inquiry order dated December 17, 2018, appointed Stephen K. Njoroge, assistant director for co-operative audit and Philip U. Uluma, principal co-operative officer, to carry out an inquiry into bylaws working and financial conditions; and the conduct of the management committee past and present of Ekeza Sacco Society. I now extend the inquiry period for the said officers for another period not exceeding fifteen days,” she said.

The co-operatives regulator deregistered the sacco in March 2018 but the troubled co-operative was allowed to continue operations in June after appealing the decision at the High Court.

Members are set to hold a meeting on February 21 expected to address the fate of more than Sh2.4 billion in savings.

This will be the second general meeting held by the society, following protests by members frustrated over being unable to access loans and refunds on deposits.

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State Department of Co-operatives PS Susan Mochache said sacco’s chairman David Ngari aka Gakuyo who is also the owner of Gakuyo Real Estate had been tasked to call a special general meeting, failure to which the State would be forced to convene it.

The sacco’s woes started in 2017, prompting the co-operatives’ regulator to launch the investigations.

Preliminary findings of the inquiry established that the society, which was only supposed to draw its membership from employees of an entity known as Gakuyo Real Estate, had irregularly expanded the common bond by recruiting members countrywide.

“We found out that the owner of Gakuyo Real Estate, Bishop David Ngari, had also engaged in land transactions, which had seen sacco members’ funds mixed up,” Ms Mochache said earlier.



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