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Pastor sneaks out as SACCO members demand their cash

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A Thika-based bishop on Sunday sneaked away from his church after members of his controversial sacco camped in the compound to demand their savings.

David Ngari commonly known as Gakuyo is the owner of Ekeza Savings and Credit Cooperative Society.

Members said they applied for withdrawal of funds in 2017 after word went round the sacco was collapsing due to fraud.

The irate group camped at Calvary Chosen Center hoping to get Ngari to tell them when their money will be released.

But Ngari declined to address the group and instead drove off in an unmarked vehicle after the church service was over. Members claimed the bishop used their money finance his campaigns during the 2017 elections when Ngari expressed interest in Kiambu governorship.

Ngari later dropped his bid, opting to formed the United for Kiambu Movement that supported Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

“We saved our money on promises of many benefits including getting a piece of land at a relatively cheaper price,” Bernard Irungu said.

Irungu said he has a total of Sh285,000 in savings held by the sacco. He said he was considering taking Ngari to court. He said he requested for a Sh30,000 loan which was declined before he decided to withdraw all his savings.

READ ALSO:   List of All Saccos in Kenya

“I made the withdrawal request in January 2017 and was told to wait for 60 working days. But up to now they haven’t released the money,” Irungu said.

George Njuguna with Sh282,000 in savings said he cannot pay school fees because the funds are held up.

“I joined the Sacco because Ngari is a man of God and I felt that my money would be safe,” Njuguna said.

Boda boda rider Robert Mathenge has saved Sh95,000 and was promised land by the Gakuyo Real Estate, a firm owned by Ngari. “I didn’t get the land and now they’ve withheld my savings. This is a big injustice,” Mathenge said.

Ngari promised to release a statement on the matter yesterday but had not done so by press time.

-The star

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Why are there so few women chefs?

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It is believed that the kitchen is a woman’s place and as girls grow up cooking with their grandmothers and mothers, they carve their culinary career path from an early age.
But being amazing home cooks rarely elevates them to professional chefs.

At most high-end restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa, there are no female executive chefs.

The InterContinental Hotel, for instance, has a male executive chef and one woman sous chef. Out of the 50 chefs at the hotel, just 18 are women. The Nairobi Serena and Tamarind Tree hotels which both have male executive chefs also have female sous chefs, who are a step below the executive chefs.

At Utalii Hotel, which has a college that trains hospitality workers, the ratio of women chefs to men is one to three, says Catherine Sidi of the food production department at the college.

This is the reality in the rest of the top hotels. Even globally, the number of male chefs awarded Michelin stars, the ultimate accolade of fine dining, outnumbers those given to women.

An executive chef leads the kitchen teams and also participates in cooking, planning menus and creating new dishes. Whereas a sous chef plans and directs food preparation in a kitchen.

READ ALSO:   How teachers lost Sh2bn for buying bank in the red

So why don’t women rise to executive chef posts?

The pressure on women to juggle work and home life is nothing new but executive chef John Getanda of the Nairobi Serena says that a top chef’s job mostly involves running through 12 to 14 hour shifts and this could be the reason why more men take up the jobs as opposed to women.

“It is not easy and most women have given up along the way despite being capable chefs. Some want to start families and do something else after a short stint in the career,” he says.

Long hours

Sous Chef Corretta Akinyi of the Hotel InterContinental says that the hours are really what makes the job tough.

“For a woman to rise, she has to work long hours and be willing to stay even after work to perfect and learn new culinary skills that is just not easy for everyone,” she says.

Chef Corretta says while there are almost as many women as men when starting out in hotels, but most female chefs either divert to other ventures or stagnant on junior levels.

“Some prefer to be pastry chefs which is a flexible job in the sense that you can prepare the pastries a day before as opposed to working in the ‘hot kitchen’ where everything is done on the same day and with so much pressure,” she says.

READ ALSO:   List of All Saccos in Kenya

When I ask Chef Getanda whether the restaurant kitchen is like what we see in famed TV series Hell’s Kitchen and if that could be the reason why the job could is tough for women, he laughed.

“No, that is not how kitchens are, and if they were, it would be a bad environment for anyone to work in, not just the women,” he says.

He adds that the industry needs to work on its representation, conditions and image to achieve a truly diverse workforce.

source:businessdaily

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How Diamond Lalji became a bankrupt millionaire

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Picture this: Your friend asks you to guarantee his/her sacco loan. You automatically agree because you know him/her well. Besides, the sacco is known to be flexible with defaulters.

Sadly, things don’t go according to plan, life gets tough and your friend defaults. But his/her assets are not enough to recover the loan, so the sacco comes after you and other guarantors.

PETITION

Unfortunately, you can’t pay up, so the sacco files a bankruptcy petition against you and succeeds.

Within no time, you’re declared flat broke and an insolvency practitioner appointed to run whatever little exists of your estate.

This scenario is now real for thousands of Kenyans following a court judgement that declared former Cereal Millers Association chairman Diamond Hasham Lalji bankrupt on March 1.

The tycoon, whose business empire boasts no fewer than 16 companies in various industries, failed to repay a $4.8 million (Sh480 million) debt three of his companies owed American grain bulk handler, Cargill.

On January 16, 2017, Mr Lalji agreed to guarantee three of his flour milling companies — Premier Flour Mills, Maize Milling Company and Milling Corporation of Kenya — which had owed Cargill since it supplied them with maize in 2012.

READ ALSO:   List of All Saccos in Kenya

At the time, the three firms owed $5.2 million (Sh520 million). Milling Corporation owed Sh274.95 million, Premier Flour Mills Sh192.25 million and Maize Milling Sh48.95 million.

But after the businessman failed to pay up as agreed, Cargill filed an insolvency petition against him.

TITLE DEEDS

Mr Lalji on Friday filed an appeal against the bankruptcy order issued by Justice Francis Tuiyott.

The Court of Appeal will mention the case Monday and decide whether to suspend Justice Tuiyott’s order, as Mr Lalji looks to convince the appellate judges to dismiss the order permanently. Justice Tuiyott’s ruling is likely to create anxiety among loan guarantors, since they could meet a fate similar to Mr Lalji’s.

Justice Tuiyott ordered that Anthony Makenzi Muthui of Ernst & Young take the over management of Mr Lalji’s estate as a receiver manager to recover Cargill’s debt.

Usually, the appointment of a statutory manager to handle a bankrupt individual’s estate is left to the official receiver. But Justice Tuiyott held that the official receiver had accepted Cargill’s nomination of Mr Muthusi, and that Mr Lalji did not contest the arrangement.

Justice Tuiyott agreed with Cargill’s argument that Mr Lalji did not give adequate details on six parcels of land worth Sh330 million that he offered to sell to offset part of Cargill’s debt. The businessman faulted Cargill for turning down his repayment proposal, which included the six title deeds as security.

READ ALSO:   How teachers lost Sh2bn for buying bank in the red

DISCLOSURE

He also asked Justice Tuiyott to consider that his three firms had repaid Sh34 million since the insolvency petition was filed. But Cargill insisted that the Sh30 million was too little, since Mr Lalji had promised to pay Sh100 million.

Justice Tuiyott ruled that there was no evidence to verify the value of the land Mr Lalji pledged as security. “The identity of the properties to be sold is not disclosed and neither is a professional opinion of the value demonstrated. In the circumstances, a creditor would be rightly entitled to doubt the credibility of the proposal made.”

The court added that Mr Lalji’s failure to make a disclosure of all his assets and liabilities did not help his argument, because it is only upon such disclosure that the court can evaluate his ability to meet the offer. “And it cannot be ignored that the promise to pay the debt is by the very companies whose default led to the guarantee that has given rise to Mr Lalji’s apparent insolvency” Justice Tuiyott ruled.

Justice Tuiyott had ruled that Cargill was not unreasonable in turning down a repayment proposal by Mr Laji, which would have seen the debt repaid in instalments running through to April, 2023. After Cargill filed the insolvency petition, Mr Lalji proposed to give the firm the six pieces of land, which he was ready to sell, as security.

READ ALSO:   List of All Saccos in Kenya

source:nation.co.ke

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I quit a job to be a stay-at-home mother

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Agnes Gathaiya, the CEO of Integrated Payment Services once quit a job to be a stay-at-home mother. The lull in her career did not slow down her career trajectory.

She says that she has never had to think about how she rose to the top. She did not map out her career path consciously. Her leadership roles at Deloitte Consulting, SAP and Safaricom came almost organically as a result of opportunities and risks.

“And when I speak to young women on leadership and they ask me how I got here as a woman, I find it strange because I never quite had to think of myself as a woman in a workplace,” she told JACKSON BIKO

So gender was never a question for you?

Not entirely, I just wasn’t conscious of it. But when I recently sat down to think of my life’s journey, I could actually circle off specific things that would never have happened to my colleagues who were male or decisions that I’ve taken that have not necessarily stagnated me but have taken me in a different direction. I think it’s important that you make sure your trajectory remains true to what it is you want and you keep moving at the same speed as you want to move while still incorporating the different seasons in your life that you must have as a woman.

What’s your story, what season is this you are in?

For the last 10 years I have been on the motherhood season. At some point when I was at SAP, which remains one of the most exciting and vibrant jobs I have had, I woke up one day and said ‘this is not working for my child.’ I lived on a plane and I’m a single mum. To the shock of my bosses and everybody, I walked in that day and resigned. I resigned knowing that I was going to sit at home for six months and do nothing but take care of my child; wake up with her, have breakfast with her, take her to school, go back home, read a newspaper, wait for her to come back from school at 1.30pm or pick her, come back home and nap. It was fantastic.

READ ALSO:   How teachers lost Sh2bn for buying bank in the red

I had never gotten to nap in the afternoon in my career (laughs). So did the break stop or slow my career trajectory? No, it didn’t.

Have you been a decent mother since?

What makes you a good mother?

We have a dual relationship with my daughter. About 90 percent of the time we are friends; we laugh, she calls me every day as soon as she gets home whether I’m in the office or not. She tells me about her day from beginning to the end. She is 10 years old.

The other 10 percent, I’m actually a mum and I’m very hard on her. And because it’s just the two of us, we have a good understanding of what our roles are in this life. She understands her roles and responsibilities and she holds me accountable if I don’t meet mine.

(Laughs) I know. You know everybody says that.

Do you see yourself in her?

A lot! She is very structured, inherently, like me. My biggest fear is that when things get unstructured as they often will in life, she might not know how to handle that.

How much of the father do you see in her?

(Pause) She is musical which I’m not. She loves music, her school has a fantastic music programme that encourages children to pick an orchestra instrument and learn it for about six to seven years. She plays a trumpet.

READ ALSO:   List of All Saccos in Kenya

What has happened in your life this year that you found very unreal?

One day I walked into my house and decided that I was going to sell my sofas that I bought last year. The moment they arrived, I hated them and they have irritated me since. So I called the gentleman who sold them and he asked me to take photos of them and the next day they were gone. Now I don’t have sofas in my house. We sit at our dining table. I check my daughter’s homework, sign her school diary and eat dinner from there. (Chuckles)

If motherhood was suddenly taken away from you, what percentage of yourself would be left?

Probably 25 percent. (Laughs) My friends keep telling me I need a man.

Like I said I’m in this season of motherhood now and my daughter is important. She needs to not just perceive but completely feel in every fibre of her being that she is everything. I think it’s important for her stability and her foundation. When she leaves for high school, in another five years, my next season will start at which point I will retire from work.

What are you going to do when you retire?

We bought some land in Nanyuki…

‘We’ being?

She and I.

Oh, she has a good job…

(Laughs) My plan is actually to move to Nanyuki. We’ve already started fencing, digging a borehole and in five years I want to have a house up. We will have a farm. I’m a farm girl. I grew up in a farm in 21-acre farm in Karen.

I bet you had a river running through it?

We actually had a river. (Laughs) We had cows, pigs and lots of chicken. We planted potatoes, yams, kale etc. I used to wake up at 4am to weigh all the milk that was coming in, package it for different customers, put it in the car and then go shower and get ready for school.

READ ALSO:   List of All Saccos in Kenya

When we would come back from school in the evening, we’d go to the farm and identify big potatoes, peel them and make chips. That was our after-school snack before doing our homework. They were the best French fries you have ever tasted (Laughs). Therefore, I want to retire like that; fill my days with farming. I’ll also apply for a job at the county, that will be my giveback.

What animal spirit are you?

I’m a cheetah; it’s graceful and wise. A cheetah will never expend unnecessary energy. It’s either 100 percent sure of the chase or it will not start the chase. (Laughs).

What character do you most detest in others?

Dishonesty.

Is there one person that you’d like to have dinner with, and what would you ask them?

Andrea Bocelli. His soul is musical! I mean, every pore in him is alive. I would think his life would have been a little more challenging than the rest of us, and yet he exudes joy in everything he does. Whenever I’m having a moment, rough or wherever, I put his music loud, and my soul rests. I would also love to have dinner with him and his wife. He has the most beautiful woman for a wife. I would love to know about her journey.

The bigger fear in life?

To pass on before my daughter.

What don’t people know about you?

That I’m nice.

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