By BONIFACE MULU
The Bestrock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society’s share capital grew to 18,715,775 shillings in 2020 from 18,072,571 shillings in 2019. This is according to the society’s chairman, Mr. Francis Muli Kithae. And also according to him, the society’s deposits grew to 141,982,259 shillings in 2020 from 123,393,076 shillings in 2019.
The membership grew to 4,370 members in 2020 from 4,100 members in 2019. And the interest on deposit grew to 5,679,290 shillings in 2020 from 4,935,723 shillings in 2019. The loans to the members grew from 137,765,708 shillings in 2019 to 149,728,168 shillings in 2020. And the total operating costs reduced from 15,869,455 shillings in 2019 to 13,649,580 shillings in 2020.
And also according to him, the society’s benevolent fund grew from 4,194,328 shillings in 2019 to 4,659,578 shillings in 2020. The total income increased to 30,452,200 shillings in 2020 from 27,780,030 shillings in 2019.
Kithae was speaking to the members during their society’s 10th annual general meeting held at the Kitui Multipurpose Development Training Institute on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 where the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives Society Limited Training Manager Elijah Mulwa was the chief guest at the function. The Bestrock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited has its headquarters in Kitui Town.
Kithae announced that they closed the year 2020 with some 16,440,258 shillings compared to 2019 where the sacco had 6,530,512 shillings at the bank. And he added that the sacco cleared the KUSCCO loan in 2020 and that currently they do not have any loan with any financial institution. “Today’s annual general meeting would have been held on April 7, 2020 were it not for the COVID-19 health crisis which necessitated the Kenya’s Commissioner of Cooperatives to suspend all the sacco annual general meetings in Kenya.
Nevertheless, the day is with us today,” Kithae said. The sacco leader announced that the growth in the member deposits went down from 29 per cent to 17.8 per cent during the year under review. “This negative trend will be reversed since now the sacco is using the bulk short messages platform to remind our members to contribute savings end month.
We tried it last month and the response was very good,” Kithae said. The chairman announced that currently they are able to give a maximum loan limit of five million shillings with a maximum payment of 24 months. “However, this depends on one’s ability to pay the loan notwithstanding the three times multiplier,” he said.
The cooperator added that increasing their deposits will also enable them to revise their upper loan limit and consequently extend their maximum repayment period to 36 months as per their loan policy.
He announced that the Savings Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) will from June this year authorise them to carry out the back office service activities (BOSA). “We believe after meeting these back office requirements, it would be much easier to get a front office service activities (FOSA) licence,” he added.
The sacco diversified its portfolio through investments in the KUSCCO savings and shares and also in the money market in the Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC), he said. And regarding the sacco employees, the chairman disclosed that the society has a total of 14 staff members as per December 2020. “The brand image, loyalty and promise of any organisation is well represented by its employees,” Kithae said.
He announced that their strategic plan is due for review this year. And he added that during the year, their policies were reviewed by their partner KUSCCO. “These policies will help us to improve our service delivery,” he said.
We are pleased to recommend to you for the consideration and declaration of interest on deposits at four per cent and dividends on shares at 7.5 per cent for the year ended on December 31, 2020 which amounts to some 5,679,290 shillings and 1,403,685 shillings per share respectively, he added. “During the year, we received dividends of 53,410 shillings.
The sacco also invested in the Cooperative Insurance Company money market and we are getting a good return on our investment,” the cooperator said. He announced that they expect to conduct two member education days this year as per their strategic plan. “Needless to say we will continue training our board members and the staff to shoulder their administrative and technical commitments and responsibilities effectively,” he said. “To maintain quality service, the board has continued to invest in skills development and retention to match the sacco demands.
The sacco now has qualified and experienced staff members like any other financial institution,” the chairman added. He said the member recruitment growth dropped from 45.3 per cent to some 6.5 per cent during the uear under review due to the COVID-19 effects. “In order to boost the membership, the sacco will be compensating some 200 shillings to any member who recruits another member who pays a 10,000 shillings capital share,” the cooperator announced.
Kithae said the Coop Bank platform is a convenient solution through which the back office saccos can comfortably pay the dividends to their members “especially during this COVID-19 season.” During the meeting, the members approved the sacco’s maximum borrowing power of 60 million shillings be retained.
“As your chairman I am sincerely humbled to see how this sacco has steadily grown from just below 40 members in 2010 to the current number under my stewardship,” Kithae told the members.
Thank you once more and may our good God protect and grow this sacco to higher levels, he said as he concluded his speech. The sacco’s best members among them the depositors, borrowers, shareholders, recruits and portfolios were awarded.
The society was registered as the Kitui Biashara Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited in 1999 covering the then larger Kitui District. But later rebranded and changed its name to the Bestrock Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited on February 20, 2013 with an expanded area of operation covering the lower eastern Kenya region that comprises the Kitui, Machakos and Makueni Counties.
The society caters for savings and credit needs of the business people, salaried employees, hawkers, jua kali artisans and small and medium entrepreneurs among other.
During the function, the society’s management committee and supervisory committee elections were conducted where the board members Monna Joel, Hillary Makola, Justin M. Kivunzi and James Ngene were retiring and they were re-elected unopposed to continue in the society’s leadership.
The elections were officially presided over by an official from the Kitui County Trade, Investments and Cooperatives Development Ministry Alice Zakayo. The function was also addressed by the society’s Chief Executive Officer Michael M. Mutua, the Secretary Ted K. Munyoki and the Supervisory Committee Chairman Justin M. Kivunzi.
The end of the story.