Trouble is once again brewing at the giant Harambee Sacco where suspended members have accused directors of planning to block their participation in an upcoming board elections to challenge the incumbents.
Nine suspended delegates have moved to the Co-operative Tribunal seeking a reversal of the suspension on grounds that it was meant to stop them from vying for elective posts at the annual general meeting.
The management of the 92,000-member society has, however, denied the allegations arguing that the delegates were suspended for, among others, storming the office of the acting chief executive officer and causing disturbances.
The suspended members insist that they only visited the office of the CEO on January 10 to seek clarification over an alleged loss of Sh2.9 million cheques.
The suspended individuals said they were particularly targeting the Sacco secretary Charles Konzolo and treasurer Meshack Odero Nyangute, who signed the lost cheque.
“The sole intent of the respondent to suspend the applicants for purported transgressions alleged to have been committed more than two months age smacks of malice, bad faith, spite, contempt and is mere charade meant to shield the two impugned officials (Mr Konzolo and Mr Nyangute) from facing competition in the yet to be announced AGM,” the suspended members say in their application.
They have attached copies of five cheques worth a total Sh2.9 million they claim were issued irregularly and lost from the sacco.
The suspended members claim that loss of the cheques were just a small part of a mega scam at the sacco.
But the management says it swiftly wrote to Co-operative Bank on September 12, 2007 asking it to stop processing of the lost cheques and successfully recovered Sh2.2 million.
The sacco insists it is still pursuing the remaining Sh635,000 with Co-op Bank #ticker:COOP.
On Tuesday, the applicants, who are all serving members of the disciplined forces, through their lawyer Dennis Kimathi, pleaded with the tribunal to lift their suspension to enable them to participate in the upcoming elections.
The elections must be held before the end of April but the suspended members say the directors have continued to withhold the date in order to ambush the members and lock out those seeking to vie for vacant positions.
Nixon Odoli, Delip Bolo, Martin Khaemba, Timothy Ouma, Stephen Ndambuki, Bonface Murunga, Peter Kipkech, Ahmed Hussein Ali and Sylvester Oduor insist they were not present at the January 10 meeting where the confrontation is alleged to have occurred.
The management has in turn accused the applicants of causing commotion and interrupting operations at the credit control and loans sections leading to their suspension.
Acting CEO Renson Mwandoe and Mr Konzolo accuse the petitioners of habitually reporting to Harambee Plaza as early as 9 a.m. and staying the whole day, disrupting operations.