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How Saccos rip off members of their life savings

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Shareholders of non-deposit taking savings and credit cooperative organisations (Non-DT-Saccos) continue to suffer losses as managers invest savings on non-core activities.

However, this may not go on for long if the government makes good on the promise to revise the outdated policies currently guiding the conduct of non- DTS which have left savings of members exposed to theft or misuse.

The non-DTS, popularly known as Back Office Service Activities (BOSAs), despite receiving huge deposits from Kenyans have continued to operate without strong regulations.

This makes it easy for founders, directors and managers to divert savings to other activities other than those prescribed in law.

Stakeholders in the cooperative movement blame this on the Cooperatives Act, which they say, does not fully comply with the ever- changing growth of the Saccos owing to the high volatility of liquid cash handled by them.

The Act, they say is unable to regulate the BOSAs, making them breeding grounds for dubious actions by the founders, directors and managers to embezzle members’ fund.

The government agrees that lack of adequate checks and balances to ensure the safety and soundness of members’ money has made Saccos, especially, non-deposit taking savings and credit cooperative societies, a ticking time bomb.

READ ALSO:   Gakuyo moved Kshs 1.5B from Ekeza Sacco account to his personal account that only him and his wife could access-Auditors.

Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya said lack of strong regulations to manage Saccos that are not controlled by Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra) has led to high cases of fraud, leading to majority of members losing their deposits.

Swindle Kenyans

“Cooperative Act provides suitable grounds for the formation of Saccos but at the same time lacks power to regulate the same, thus creating a leeway for prominent individuals who own non-DTS to swindle Kenyans of their hard-earned money,’’ he said.

This segment of Saccos is also under scrutiny for being part of thousands of cooperatives that for years have not been filing annual returns to the Commissioner for Cooperatives, making it hard for the government to intervene in case an institution collapses.

The cooperative movement insiders say some of these Saccos run daily adverts in the local media promising Kenyans lucrative opportunities, such as cheap land and loans.

After mobilising funds they add, some of these institutions close down and the purported owners disappear with members’ savings. Munya said most of these institutions are being managed like pyramid schemes and cartel like and are not licensed.

“The core activity of receiving deposits and offering loans to the same members have been completely diluted as the directors and managers place the investors’ money to activities that suit only their interests,” he added.

READ ALSO:   Gakuyo moved Kshs 1.5B from Ekeza Sacco account to his personal account that only him and his wife could access-Auditors.

Saccos in the country are categorised into two – Deposit Taking Saccos (DTS), currently managed by the Sasra and non-DT-Saccos under the control of the Commissioner for Co-operatives.

Sasra regulates 174 (DTS) that controls deposits which amounted to Sh342.3 billion as at end of December 2018 while 1,683 audited non- DT-Saccos controlled Sh58.7 billion as at end of December 2017.

source:People Daily

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Inter-Continental Hotel considering permanent closure of its Nairobi unit

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The iconic Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi is set to be closed permanently over “operational reasons.”

The facility’s proprietor, InterContinental Hotels Corporation Limited (IHCL), announced the closure through a notice to its employees.

The company said it is winding up its operations in Kenya, adding that the five-star hotel will shut its doors in the next 45 days and declare all workers redundant.

“We write to inform you that InterContinental Hotels Corporation Limited Kenya (IHCL) is for operational reasons, considering a permanent closure of InterContinental Nairobi and winding up its operations in the Republic of Kenya. As a consequence of such intended winding up, all employment positions would become redundant,” part of the notice reads.

The 389-bed capacity hotel has been in existence for the past 51 years and was almost auctioned in 2019 over unsettled debt amounting to nearly Sh1 billion.

InterContinental  is strategically located inside Nairobi Central Business District near Parliament Buildings, making it an ideal destination for business travelers. It boasts a poolside restaurant, a coffee shop and some bars.

The Privatization Commission earlier this year sought to sell the government’s stake in the hotel through the Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) following previous unsuccessful offers. The State owns 33.8 percent of stake in the hotel’s mother company.

READ ALSO:   Gakuyo moved Kshs 1.5B from Ekeza Sacco account to his personal account that only him and his wife could access-Auditors.
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How hair scavenged from Nairobi dumpsite ends up in salon

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Stylist Julia Wanja picks her way delicately through piles of food waste, discarded masks, rubber gloves and other rubbish at Nairobi’s Dandora dumpsite, looking for used hair extensions she can clean and resell to customers.

The pandemic means fewer clients with less money and she is cutting down on costs by cleaning and reselling hair from the dumpsite. Officials direct trucks to dump their loads depending on where the waste has come from. Domestic and commercial waste – which includes bags of hair extensions discarded by other salons – goes to different sections.

Medical waste is usually incinerated. “I have fewer customers,” the mother of three told Reuters from her wooden stall near the Dandora dumpsite as vehicle horns blared in the background. “If you are not going to work, there is no need to style your hair.”

Wanja said she washes the used hair extensions carefully using detergent, Dettol and hot water. Most of her customers trust her to wash the hair well, she said, although a few like to clean it themselves as well. Like other scavengers, she wears a mask to sort through the trash.

“We cannot allow anyone to enter the dumpsite without a mask on,” fellow scavenger Denis Githaiga said, as he ripped through piles of plastic bags.

READ ALSO:   Gakuyo moved Kshs 1.5B from Ekeza Sacco account to his personal account that only him and his wife could access-Auditors.

Wanja has been selling second-hand hair since 2008 but says there is more demand now since many people cannot afford new extensions. “New hair is more expensive than second-hand hair,” the 38-year-old said. “People don’t have money.”

Wanja’s customers say as long as the hair has been cleaned, they do not mind where it is from.

The hair looks new: long, luxuriant locks hang from the walls in Wanja’s stall or are perched on a battered styrofoam head.

“The hair bought new from a shop and bought used only differs in price. But once it is plaited, there is no difference,” said Cecilia Githigia as Wanja’s fingers worked a weave into her hair.

By Standard.co.ke

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How Kenyan family stole billions in the US

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When in November last year, the National Police Service said it had received information from Interpol that some Kenyans were wanted in the US for alleged fraud offence, one of the names released was that of Edwin Sila Nyumu, a man who had been on the run.

Nyumu and his family were behind a US based crime syndicate that launched  hundreds of millions of dollars in the country but managed to escape the FB dragnet to hide in Mlolongo Machakos.

In total, the family members are believed to have stolen more than Kshs.2 billion in a tax fraud, the Nation has established. It is one of the biggest cyber-crime heists in the blossoming industry.

The Daily Nation reports that how this Kenyan family laid a scamming web and managed to bilk millions of dollars and send them to Kenya without raising an alarm has always petrified the investigators.

TheDaily Nation reports that for 12 years, since his name first appeared on the Interpol list, Nyumu oiled the palms of all those who his identity and the Nation was informed he was a cash cow of police officers, until the money ran out last year.

By then, and after 12 years, he could no longer be charged with fraud since the federal crimes have a statute limitations which protects the people from being harassed and having to constantly defend themselves from old charges.

READ ALSO:   Gakuyo moved Kshs 1.5B from Ekeza Sacco account to his personal account that only him and his wife could access-Auditors.

Record indicate that on November 6 last year, Corporal general Kamwaro swore an affidavit seeking a fresh order to arrest Nyumu.

Kamwaro said Nairobi Interpol office has contacted the US Nationla Central Bureau Interpol to forward extradition documents against the suspect.

By Daily Nation

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