By BONIFACE MULU
The chairman of the Kitui Teachers Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited, Reverend Augustus Munuve said that the society continued to play its rightful role of savings mobilisation availing credit as well as making the use of information technology to offer services and create awareness to their members.
This is evidenced by the growth in the total membership which stood at 24,040 in 2019 from 20,841 in 2018,” he said. Munuve added that the society’s loans during the year 2019 rose to 5 billion shillings from four billion shillings in 2018.
And the total savings in 2019 grew to 878 million shillings from 630 million shillings in 2018 while the deposits grew to 4.08 billion shillings from 3.3 billion shillings in 2018, according to him. “As a result of the growth, we declare interest on deposits of 12.55 per cent and 8.50 per cent of equity shares,” the cooperator said.
Munuve was speaking to thousands of members during their society’s 43rd annual general meeting held at the Kitui Multipurpose Development Training Institute on Saturday, February 15, 2020 where Dr. Felix Opondo, a consultant, was the chief guest at the function. The chairman announced that the sacco has managed to raise some 177.1 million shillings from share drive. “This together with the existing share capital got us to number 28 DT (Deposit Taking) sacco in Kenya by asset size in 2018.
This was an improvement from number 29 for the last four years. We persuade our members who have not participated in the share drive to do so to ensure that the sacco will continue to grow,” Munuve said.
The year 2019 was a year of transition to five billion shillings mark and this calls for hard work to further grow the sacco and ensure that we maintain the growth, the cooperators leader said. “The plan in the strategic plan is to grow the sacco to 10 billion shillings in the next five years. This will require the member patronage and support,” Munuve said.
The chairman announced that the sacco opened the fifth branch at the Makindu market in Makueni County in 2019 and two satellite offices in Wote Town, Makueni County and at the Syeikulu market in Kitui County. Munuve announced that in 2019 they focused on training and educating their members on how to grow their wealth and develop themselves. “The members appreciated the materials used and the board promised to continue improving the training material for value addition,” the cooperator added.
Munuve said that their sacco has continued to carry out corporate social responsibility activities by visiting the needy (the special schools) and also sponsoring the education for the needy in Kitui County. “We continued to excel in different fields and in the year 2019 the sacco was ranked position two best improved employer based sacco, tier one nationally,” the cooperator said.
Other trophies awarded at the Kitui County level were the overall most compliant urban sacco in Kitui County, the overall best society in embracing technology in Kitui County, the overall best managed urban sacco in Kitui County and the first cooperative society to hold the annual general meeting in Kitui County, he added.
On the society’s borrowing power, he said: “The board seeks authority to borrow externally 300,000,000 shillings only.” In conclusion, I would like to once again thank you all in your respective capacities for the support, understanding and hard work as well as your individual and collective contribution towards the attainment of the remarkable growth and the society’s performance. Thank you and God bless you all, he said.
And in his speech, Dr. Opondo said that one of our notable strengths as a country has been our ability to mobilise ourselves into the saccos and other small cooperatives. “Our history has something to do with it. After colonial settlers in the country left, many people in the country grouped themselves into saccos to mobilise resources to buy the land. Later on, they realised the power of the cooperatives and decided to use them in marketing their produce,” he said.
He added that the end result is that the generations that followed later realised that the easiest way to mobilise resources and access wealth is through cooperatives. “Of late, however, more emphasis has been placed on investment saccos rather than producer and consumer cooperatives,” Opondo said. In this regard, the small scale investors pool resources, get into a business and generate wealth using the capital, he said.
The expert said the saccos provide an alternative avenue for people not served by formal banks. And with the coming into effect of the new accounting standards for banks, the number of people who can’t adequately access financial services through the banks is bound to rise, Opondo added. And he said the saccos give an opportunity to people to save and access loans at reasonable rates with few demands.
The saccos pay out dividends on the savings of their members. Compared to other investments, saving in a sacco has a more guaranteed return,” he said. “Typically, the liabilities of the society members are limited to the amount of capital they contributed,” Opondo added.
He said that to invest is to allocate money in the expectation of some benefit in the future. “In finance the benefit from an investment is called a return. The return may consist of a gain (or loss) realised from an investment, leading to capital appreciation (or depreciation), or investment income such as dividends, interest, rental income and so on or a combination of capital gain and income,” the expert added. Opondo also said an investment is an asset or item acquired with the goal of generating income or appreciation.
In an economic sense, an investment is the purchase of goods that are not consumed today but are used in the future to create wealth, he said. “Before making any decisions on investment, carry out a diagnosis to establish where you currently stand financially. As you are working, you should be saving money for retirement. Put your retirement savings into a portfolio of investments such as shares.
Then at retirement age, you can live off funds earned from these investments. Investing can help you reach big financial goals,” Opondo said. Being in the Sacco also means I, as a member, get first the priority when the Sacco has property they would like its members to invest in, he said.
One thing you need to focus on more today in saccos is something called share capital. The share capital, in the simplest terms, means the amount you put in to buy shares in the Sacco. It’s like a non-redeemable ticket into a club.
The share capital also means that should you decide to exit the Sacco, they will give you back your contributions but they will retain your share capital,” Opondo added. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Kitui County Executive Secretary, Mr. Simon Mutunga Nding’o, who also addressed the function, highly lauded the Kitui Teachers Sacco’s good leadership. He assured the locals that the Kitui Teachers Sacco is a very good sacco.
The educationist said that they in Kitui County are at 96 per cent in school intake in conformity with the Kenya’s 100 per cent transition policy where all the children in the country should be taken to school. He added that it is good for those who are in polytechnics to be taken to secondary schools. “And if they need those polytechnic courses, they will study them later because a Form Four student is different from a Standard Eight school pupil,” Nding’o said. And he asked for those who are without enough fees in the county to be assisted for the good of the secondary school education there.
Nding’o said the infrastructure is a challenge in their county’s schools. “And we have been assured by the government that the problem is going to be addressed because we have schools with so many children in the county,” the KNUT official said. He also said the county had a high shortage of teachers.