The Star (Nairobi)

3 June 2012

Kenya: Kahawa Co-Op Launches Sacco

Kamuthi Housing Co-operative Society has said it will start an in-house SACCO to help its more than 5,000 members obtain funding from banks to build alternative modern houses.

This was said by the Chairman, Bernard Maina during a special general meeting which was aimed to open its new ultra-modern office block at Kahawa West in Kasarani over the weekend.

At the same time, Maina said the society will borrow Sh1 billion from banks for their phase three land allocation. He added that the company has scheduled to issue a section of members with share certificates and title deeds. During the meeting which was graced by the Nairobi Provincial Co-operative Officer Enid Njeru, Maina said that they have been buying and selling both to the members and non members but it was the high time that the members started enjoying the confront of living on modern houses.

He said that the society which started with about 142 members back in 1964 to the current 5,200 members has been investing in bulk land which has been estimated to be valued at the tune of between Sh1.4 billion to Sh 4.1 billion. He said that with the subdivisions of land and more investment scheduled to be done, the society is moving the next stage of assisting the members to construct houses while they make others for sale. "We are now moving to enabling members to obtain funds through an in house SACCO. We will seek alternative but locally acceptable technologies of houses construction and we have already started sourcing for the same from Malaysia and China so that they can live decently affordable houses," said Maina. "We have very active members who are only lacking direction. We are working with financial supporters among them equity bank, K-Rep, Family bank and Co-operative bank who are willing to come on board and help members better their lives," he said.

He urged the members to visit display stations to see the types of houses they want to put up for Thika projects. He said that they have been given powers to borrow an additional Sh800 million to top up their Sh200 Million for the phase three land allocation. "We have been given powers today for bowing as required by Co-operative society. We are intending to borrow Sh800 Million since last time they passed for us to borrow Sh400 million and we had Sh200 million and thus we shall make it Sh1 Billion," said Maina. The Chairman complained that the Office in Thika has been delaying their paper processing and urged them to better their services.

He said the government has introduced measures for the sake of accountability and most of the members have completed their payments adding that they will be issued with title deeds share certificates during the coming AGM. "I appeal to the Ministry of Land and the County Council to be efficient. We have faced serious challenges at the land office in Thika while processing titles and we hope that the recent reshuffles in those offices will yield desired fruits. We assure members that they shall be issued with title deeds in the coming AGM," said Maina. The society was started in 1964 by people who were working for a colonial settler and bought some 415 acres. By the time laborers finalized the purchase the main economic activity was coffee and dairy farming which the current members have faced out to real estate investment.

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