Cooperative societies have opposed a move to change the Cooperative Societies Act and the Sacco Societies Act to bring in non members into the societies.
According to the Co-operative Alliance of Kenya, the proposed changes contained in the Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 2018 are punitive and run the risk of breaking the spirit of the cooperative movement.
The cooperative movement has over 22,000 registered co-operative societies with an estimated membership of 15 million people which has mobilized more than Sh640 billion as at the end of 2016 and an asset base of Sh780 billion.
Of particular concern is a clause that seeks to bring in social impact members which the alliance argues creates an avenue to divert member savings into risky investment avenues.
In a letter to the clerk of the National Assembly, Co-operative Alliance of Kenya executive director Daniel Marube said the special class of members will only vote in matters concerning them and to the exclusion of the rest of the members which is contrary to the one member one vote rule.
“These proposed amendments to say the least have the purport and intent to sneak in strangers into the room who not only come to scavenge on the goodwill an institutional set up of Sacco societies but also to attack and wreck the foundation upon which Sacco’s are built,” Mr Marube said.
The bill further proposes to amend the law by introducing a new section which deals with the establishment of the special fund whose sole source are monies received from social impact members.
“As you can see this arrangement only advances to the interest of the social impact members to the total exclusion of the members and the Sacco society. We urge you to disallow these proposed amendments,” he added.
Mr Marube said there may be underhand dealings as the changes are contained in a miscellaneous bill and sought clarity as to who was pushing for the changes.