By Andanje Wakhungu
Members of the Sunrise Dairy Cooperative Society in Butali Chegulo, Malava constituency have called for the immediate arrest of individuals who owe the Sacco Ksh. 218, 000 and have refused to pay. The members unanimously agree to surcharge the outgoing management for failing to collect the money from creditors. In a volatile held at Friends church Chegulo, irked members of the Sacco ejected the management team from office during the elections and elected new ones. Members accused the outgoing officeholders of incompetence and lack of transparency in running the affairs of the society which led to farmers losing their money to unscrupulous milk dealers.
At the AGM, it was revealed that the 6-year-old dairy was struggling to survive, only operating on grants from various organizations that have injected Ksh. 11,589,000 in the Sacco. The society losses stood at Ksh.1, 090,000 despite collecting Ksh. 2.4 million in sales. The meeting was told that the accrued debts dating back to 2020 had demoralized farmers from supplying the dairy with milk with only 55 members being active out of the 347 registered.
The outgoing chairman Gideon Lumbasi had a hard time explaining how the management had tried to salvage the matter by reporting to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the issue remains unresolved with the culprits promising to pay the funds. It is on record that the society employed an office manager and an accountant who were to keep records of the supplies but the men instead fleeced the Sacco of Ksh.139, 000 through dubious and crafty record keeping, they were eventually dismissed without them paying the money back. Two milk dealers from Kakamega are alleged to have conned the Sacco of Kshs. 72,000 and Kshs.132, 000 respectively in milk supplies.
Former Malava housing chairman John Lumbatatia confirmed that the dairy was on its sick bed and needed to be resuscitated through new and fresh leadership. The county cooperatives auditor Kenneth Kulova when presenting his (2020/21) financial year report said that the society was insolvent considering the number of assets it had versus the shares of the asset and asked the officials to quickly sit and deliberate on how best they can turn around the Sacco lest it completely crumbled.
The members questioned why the outgoing office was unable to call for a meeting whenever they received grants from the German Government (GIZ) Kshs.4.4 million county government of Kakamega Kshs.400,000 among other organizations and pointed out the office was corrupt and behind the bad state of the cooperative. The cooperation officer Monica Aduke advised the members on how best they could revive their dairy.
The newly elected office led by Wycliffe Gimoi (Chairman), Jessica Namisi (secretary) and Esther Nyaboge (treasurer) agreed to clean the mess and start afresh by adopting the strategic plan they had drafted during the Naivasha retreat.