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Co-ops chief calls it a day after 3 years

Commissioner of Co-operatives Development Mary Mungai
Commissioner of Co-operatives Development Mary Mungai. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Commissioner of Co-operatives Development Mary Mungai has served out her three-year term as her tenure at the CIC Insurance Group board also lapses.

She on Tuesday confirmed that her tenure at the Co-operatives helm ended a few days ago, with Didacus Ityeng, a former senior official at the Ministry of Agriculture, appointed to replace her in an acting capacity.

Ms Mungai, who holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Economic from Purdue University West Lafayette Indiana, USA, was appointed Commissioner for Co-operatives Development on December 2016.

“My term has finally come to an end and I have to go. This is partly because I have attained the retirement age in public service. The Public Service Commission will soon call for applications to fill my position substantively,” said Ms Mungai in a telephone interview.

As the Commissioner for Co-operatives, she was responsible for creating enabling environment for the development of the cooperative movement and enforcing compliance of the Act.

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She is leaving the commission at a time a number of co-operatives societies are reeling under the weight of mismanagement, fraud and bad loans that have put the sector on a path of instability. She regularly put societies on liquidation or management.

Besides societies, at stake is hundreds of billions of shillings of members’ savings that have either been lost or are at risk of being lost as more and more cases of financially troubled Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (saccos).

Ekeza and other saccos are estimated to have lost members’ billions through mismanagement or outright fraud by officials and boards.

Metropolitan National Sacco is also grappling with massive debts after dishing out ‘risky’ loans worth billions of shillings.

This has drastically affected its liquidity leaving members to line up for days to access their cash.

At present, the sacco has a member deposit of approximately Sh6.9 billion and Sh700 million member shares.

However, the outstanding loans are estimated at Sh12.8 billion, reflecting a difference of Sh4.3 billion.

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