MOU to Strengthen Anti-Graft Fight in Cooperative Sector
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has come together with the State Department for Cooperative Societies and Ethics Commission for Cooperative Societies to promote ethics, corruption prevention, education & awareness and law enforcement. Representatives of the three bodies and other stakeholders have already met to validate a draft memorandum of understanding to set up a joint platform for that purpose.
Speaking during the validation exercise at a breakfast meeting, EACC’s CEO, Mr. Twalib Mbarak, warned Saccos’ to run the institutions with integrity and professionalism, noting that the Commission had so far received 400 complaints from cooperatives 16 of which fall under the Commission’s mandate. He promised to have the MoU ready for signing in a week in order to expeditiously deal with the rot in the Saccos.
In his keynote address, the Commission’s Chair, Retired Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, highlighted recent media reports indicating the existence of massive corruption and unethical conduct in the cooperative sector, which had resulted in the loss of millions of investors’ savings and property.
“A quick glance at the reports received by the Commission regarding the cooperatives sector,” said the Chair, “paints a picture of a sector bedeviled by poor governance, lack of transparency, accountability and low value for investors’ money.”
He warned that corruption in the country had reached unprecedented levels and stressed the need for concerted efforts to eradicate the vice. He added: “Corruption is a multifaceted phenomenon which cannot be eradicated by one institution. It is, however, key to note that EACC has continued to exercise its mandate of combating and preventing corruption and economic crimes in Kenya as provided for in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2011.”
The Chair noted that the initiative – the joint platform — had come at an opportune moment that would enable the Commission and the cooperative sector to put in place drastic measures to reverse the trend. He called upon the cooperative movement to support the partnership and do their work diligently, acknowledging that the sector plays a critical role in resource mobilization. “This will spur economic growth in line with the aspirations of vision 2030, medium term plan and help in the realization of the government’s big four agenda and sustainable development goals,” said the Chair.
On strategic partnerships and alliances, he said the Commission had a specific mandate under the law to forge such platforms to strengthen the fight against corruption.
The Principal Secretary, State Department for Cooperatives, Ms.Susan Mochache, spoke of her ministry’s commitment to ensure that the cooperative sector realized the benefits and opportunities of the synergies to tackle corruption and other challenges facing the co-operative movement.
She noted that Kenya was rated first in Africa with over 22,000 registered cooperative societies commanding a membership of over 14 million and employing more than 500,000 people directly and another 1.5 million indirectly. The cooperative movement had also mobilized members’ savings and deposits of over Ksh.732 billion, with an asset base of more than Ksh.1trillionand, and a loan portfolio exceeding Ksh.700 billion as at 2017, which contributes to about 30% of the national savings.
However, she noted that the co-operative movement continued to face various challenges such as weak governance; poor management by boards/committees, and corruption. She was hopeful that these would be urgently addressed through the anticipated signing of the MoU.
The Principal Secretary thanked both EACC and Ethics Commission for Cooperative Societies for initiating a mechanism for collaboration in efforts to mainstream ethics, and enforce the law for the betterment of the cooperative sector.
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