The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has sounded an alarm over what it terms as increased complaints related to abuse of office, embezzlement and misappropriations of funds, bribery, breach of trust and tax evasions in the Sacco sector.
EACC chairman Dr Eliud Wabukala has warned the SACCO society sector players against corruption and unethical practices in the Multi-Billion sector saying they will be held accountable for their actions.
Wabukala says the Commission received and analyzed three hundred and seventy-two complaints touching on cooperative Societies from the year 2013 to 2020.
Out of these, forty-seven fell within the mandate of the Commission and were taken up for investigations while about 31 of the complaints touched on administration issues involving low and middle ranks of Saccos countrywide.
“It is important to note that, one hundred and fourteen of these complaints, translating 31 percent of the total reports, were about administration, which is a mandate of the regulator, SASRA. The reports also revealed that 91 percent of the persons involved were in the low and middle ranks of the institutions,” Wabukala noted.
According to Wabukala, in the past five years, the Commission has concluded investigations into 1,000 corruption and related cases; and in close collaboration with the DPP, secured convictions in 169 cases out of the 275 corruption cases finalized in various Courts.
“In addition, the Commission recovered corruptly acquired assets worth approximately Ksh 25 Billion and prevented the possible loss of public funds worth approximately Ksh 30.4 Billion. Further, the EACC is pursuing forfeiture of approximately Ksh 25.5 Billion by public officers found to own unexplained wealth,” he added.
Wabukala made the remarks during the official opening of a capacity building training of the Corruption Prevention Committee (CPC) and staff of the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) in Mombasa on Monday.
The Commission has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Department for Cooperatives aimed at combating and preventing corruption in the cooperatives sector.
Wabukala underscored that SASRA as the regulating body, has registered about 180 licensed SACCOs in the Country controlling huge amounts of resources and therefore it was prudent for the sector to fully embrace transparency and accountability.
According to the SASRA Reports it is noteworthy that assets of Deposit-Taking SACCOs account for 5.7 percent of the National Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and that SACCOs asset base has been increased by 12.4 percent from Ksh 495 billion in 2018 to Ksh 556.7 billion in 2019.
“This makes the SACCOs key players in realization of Vision 2030 through mobilization of savings for the Country’s investment needs. Resources of such a high magnitude ought to be applied prudently with utmost transparency, accountability and sound leadership,” Wabukala said.