By The Weekly Vision Team
There was confusion over the weekend among the Cooperative Movement in Kenya when word leaked out that Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (KUSCCO) CEO George Ototo had been kicked out of office unceremoniously by a section of the board.
However, details of the ouster remain scanty, but well-placed sources divulged that Mr Ototo opted to retire a few minutes before the board, under the chairmanship of George Magutu, convened an impromptu board meeting last Friday between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m., where the only agenda was to rubber stamp Mr Ototo’s ouster.
Sources say that the board was divided right in the middle, with a small section supporting the ouster, while a majority of board members believe it was not done procedurally. Sources say a full board meeting is expected to be convened tomorrow (Monday) to deliberate on the issue. As to whether the board will ratify and uphold the ouster, it will only be known after the meeting, which is expected to produce fireworks.
According to sources privy to the plot to oust Mr Ototo, the coup plotters appointed one Arnold Munene as his replacement in an acting capacity. But even before the ink to appoint him as the acting CEO could dry, it has emerged that his academic credentials are questionable, with claims that he is not qualified and thus not suitable to handle the position. Available information indicates that according to the KUSCCO bylaws, the current financial manager at KUSCCO should take charge until a substantive CEO is identified. The CEO must be a holder of a Master’s degree, (CPAK) and knowledge in financial law. However, investigations reveal that Mr. Munene holds none of the above qualifications, sources say he is a diploma holder.
The board members are George Magutu (Chairman), David Lagat (Vice Chairman), David Ogega, Alfred Mlolwa, Peter Manga, David Moyia, John Sigei, Wilfred Aima, Bernard Ngunjiri, Ann Mutinda, Henry Okwatch, and Hesbond Malova. The KUSCO board had been criticised in the past for being an almost all-male board of directors. Currently, there is only one female board member, Ann Mutinda.
Back to the KUSCCO boardroom wars, the ousted CEO has been at a crossroads not only with sections of the board but even with top government officials. Sources revealed that the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) is currently carrying out an audit on the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (Kuscco) following allegations of illegal deposit-taking business.