The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Murang'a Boss Grilled Over Investment Co-Op

Murang'a Trade executive Edward Muiruri was on Monday taken to task over the legality of Murang'a investment cooperative society "Shillingi kwa Shillingi".

Muiruri appeared before a 14-member committee headed by former Kinangop MP David Ngugi. The committee was formed by Murang'a county assembly to probe the initiative.

The committee wants to know the sacco's owners and operational structures or whether it is a scheme created to defraud the residents. The committee also seeks to establish whether the right procedure was followed in registration, its board of directors and why the county government is using the public to promote the initiative.

Muiruri, who is the first to appear before the committee however could not explain how the locals became members of the sacco when the commission said no one was consulted while it was being formed.

Muiruri denied that Governor Mwangi wa Iria is a shareholder in the sacco saying it is purely owned by locals. "The shillingi kwa shillingi is a brainchild of the locals who want to mobilise funds for development. The county government does not have shares in it," he said.

"We need to know the legal frame work put in place to ensure the money deposited is not lost and that it is not a pyramid scheme, which will collapse after people invest millions of money," Ngugi said.

He said the committe wants to know if there is guarantee given to the sacco's members that they shall get the value for their money. In his defence, Muiruri said the sacco is being regulated by the cooperative laws, which guarantees the safety of shareholders' money.

He said 2,760 members have enrolled in the sacco but he could not tell the amount that has been raised so far. Muiruri said he is not familiar with the sacco's management.

The committee however gave him more time to gather relevant information regarding "shillingi kwa shillingi" after which he shall be required to appear before it for the second time.

The committee is expected to submit its report in the next 10 days to the county assembly. Ngugi however warned the committee members to rely on facts and not rumours or propaganda being spread about the initiative.

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