- Judge B. O. M. MananiI ruled that SASRA had influenced the suspension and sacking of Chuna DT Savings and Credit Co-Operative Society CEO Okungu Eliezer Okello. Investigations also reveal that Mr Okello previously served as Fosa Manager at Safaricom Sacco for 10 years, assistant Business Development & Marketing Manager at Stima Sacco Society Ltd for 1 year and three months, Fosa Manager at Stima Sacco for 4 years and 10 months. SASRA asserted that Mr Okello’s activities contravened the Sacco Societies Act and regulations there under, they further contended that Okello’s conduct was perilous to the interests of the members of the affected Sacco Societies and the public
The Employment and Labour Relations Court has stopped the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority from interfering with the management of Chuna DT Savings And Credit Co-Operative Society in a ruling dated 31st July 2023 by Judge B. O. M. MananiI. The judge ruled that SASRA’s top management had influenced the suspension and sacking of Chuna DT Savings and Credit Co-Operative Society CEO Okungu Eliezer Okello.
SASRA’s top team led by the CEO Peter Njuguna had written to the board of Chuna DT Sacco asking them to suspend Mr Okello from executing his duties pending an inquiry into allegations leveled against him. It is Okello’s case that Sasra is not his employer and thus has no disciplinary control over him in respect of his contract of service with Chuna Sacco. Available records reveal that Mr Okello was employed by Chuna Sacco in February 2023 as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Chuna Sacco then notified SASRA of this appointment through its letter of 25th May 2023.
However, on 6th June 2023 SASRA wrote to Chuna Sacco intimating that whilst serving in various positions in other Sacco’s, Mr Okello had engaged in activities that exposed the said Societies to risky business practices. Investigations conducted by The Weekly Vision reveal that Mr Okello previously served as Fosa Manager at Safaricom Sacco for 10 years. He also served as Assistant Business Development & Marketing Manager at Stima Sacco Society Ltd for 1 year and three months and as Fosa Manager at Stima Sacco for 4 years and 10 months. SASRA asserted that Mr Okello’s activities contravened the Sacco Societies Act and regulations there-under, they further contended that Okello’s conduct was perilous to the interests of the members of the affected Sacco Societies and the public.
Consequently, SASRA directed that Okello be suspended from executing his functions as CEO of Chuna Sacco pending the conclusion of an inquiry into his conduct, at the same time asking Mr Okello to justify why he should continue serving as an officer of a Sacco Society. Records also indicate that on the same date, SASRA wrote to Chuna Sacco directing the latter to suspend Mr Okello from duty pending the completion of an inquiry into his conduct. Chuna Sacco was given five (5) days to comply with the aforesaid directive.
On 12th June 2023 and in compliance with the directive by SASRA, Chuna Sacco wrote to Mr Okello asking him to hand over his functions to another officer in an acting capacity pending finalization of the aforesaid inquiry by SASRA. It is these developments that triggered the current action. As intimated earlier, Okello contends that SASRA has no powers to meddle in his contract of employment with Chuna Sacco. As such, it is Okello’s position that the decision to suspend him from duty is illegal. But Sasra in a quick rejoinder contends that as a Sacco Societies regulator, it has the power to inquire into activities by Sacco Societies to prevent exposure of the Sacco members and the general public to harm.
Contemporaneous with the Statement of Claim, Okello filed an application dated 19th June 2023. In the application, he sought orders to lift the decision by Sasra and Chuna Sacco to suspend him.
The ruling by Judge B. O. M. MananiI reads in part “The upshot is that the application dated 12th July 2023 is allowed with the consequence that the orders of this court that issued on 3rd July 2023 but which the 1st Respondent erroneously indicates as having issued on 30th June 2023 are hereby set aside”.