Investors risk Sh2.6bn as Ekeza Sacco shut

Commissioner of Co-operatives Mary Mungai. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG
Commissioner of Co-operatives Mary Mungai. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Ekeza Sacco that was much publicised during Kiambu political campaigns last year through live TV and radio coverage has been shut down. The sacco is estimated to have signed up 50,000 members who deposited some Sh2.56 billion.

Commissioner of Co-operatives Mary Mungai said compulsory liquidation was necessitated by findings of an investigation that revealed Ekeza had failed to meet its members’ expectations.

The directive also saw appointment of two liquidators, assistant director of co-operative audit Stephen Kamau and principal co-operative officer Philip Ukhevi, to oversee the process within the next one year.

“I authorise them to take into their custody all the properties of the said society including such books and documents as are deemed necessary for completion of the liquidation,” she said.

The fresh order also set aside an earlier directive that deregistered Ekeza pending streamlining of its operations to suit requirements for running a sacco.

This means Ekeza’s offices have been shut down and its operations taken away from directors to facilitate termination of its operations. This will see its assets sold and money in its accounts taken out to repay creditors. Anyone found liable could face criminal prosecution or be surcharged.

The order throws into disarray one of the fastest-growing saccos in the country that cashed in on people’s desperation to own land and a ‘cheap’ house since its inception four years ago by televangelist and founding bishop of Thika-based Calvary Chosen Centre, David Kariuki, who also owns Gakuyo Real Estate.

“Wheareas, an inspection was conducted into the affairs of Ekeza Sacco Society ... I hereby cancel the registration of the said society and order that it be liquidated,” said Ms Mungai.

In court papers filed last week by Ekeza’s CEO Gladys Wanjiku Muriithi, the sacco said it was in the process of separating its operations from its sister firm Gakuyo when its licence was revoked.

Ekeza’s members had to part with Sh10,000 as booking fee for a house and continue saving money for selected houses, which saw member savings rise to Sh2.56 billion while housing loans currently stand at Sh2.6 billion.