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Lobby calls for saccos audit in wake of Ekeza fraud claims

Ekeza sacco members
Ekeza Savings and Credit Co-operative Organisations members react angrily during their meeting at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi early this year. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG 

The Co-operative Alliance of Kenya (CAK) has called for an urgent audit of all savings and credit co-operative societies (saccos) in Kenya amid fraud complaints against Gakuyo Real Estate, Ekeza Sacco and Gakuyo Investment Club.

CAK chief executive Daniel Marube said the audit would weed out pyramid-like entities masquerading as co-operatives.

Mr Marube blamed the shifting of supervision of co-operative societies to the county governments under the 2010 Constitution for the problem.

He argued that county administrations are not well equipped to supervise and audit the co-operatives after the functions were devolved from national government through the commissioner of co-operatives. “They lack staff with technical skills to supervise and audit the co-operatives, and where these skills exist, the department is not well funded to undertake the functions,” he said in a statement.

“Of late we have witnessed cases of dubious organisations running promotion activities to woo members of the public to join them. Some of these organisations are managed by individuals while others are subsidiaries of big organisations.”

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Last Wednesday, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations scheduled sessions with Nairobi and Kiambu residents with fraud complaints against Gakuyo Real Estate, Ekeza Sacco and Gakuyo Investment Club.

The three organisations are linked to controversial televangelist David Kariuki Ngare, popularly known as Gakuyo.

Gakuyo is the overseer of Calvary Chosen Centre Church in Thika, a politician and a businessman.

Gakuyo is accused of siphoning more than Sh1 billion belonging to 78,000 members, mostly peasants, from the troubled Ekeza Savings and Credit Co-operative Society.

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