Audit Queries Put Thika’s Orient Sacco On The Spot With Over Half A Billion Shillings Unaccounted For.

A section of Orient Sacco members leaving the venue of the stormy SGM which saw all management board officials suspended a a new caretaker committee constituted. (Inset: Samson Maina Ngonjoro, a member of the newly elected officials talking to the press.
Thika-Based Orient Sacco is on the spot over allegations of massive fraud that has left its 4000+ members in a financial mess. This comes after years of suffering by members who had to go for months without accessing loan facilities and other benefits.

Documents shown to the press expose the rot at the society where hundreds of millions of shillings seems to have been lost or unaccounted for. The Sacco’s financial reports indicate a liability amounting to Ksh. 686,028,630 with the Sacco operating at a loss of Ksh. 66,095,398.

In a Special General Meeting (SGM) held at The Pastoral Centre in Thika, Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) officials suspended the entire management board of the Sacco and oversaw the election of an interim caretaker committee consisting of 5 members who were mandated to oversee the operations of the Sacco until the impasse was resolved.

This team was given a 90-days ultimatum to work out a formula on how the Sh. 686 million will be recovered and reverted back to the Sacco members.

Samson Maina Ngonjoro, a member of the newly elected officials, assured the members that his team will do to the best of their ability to ensure that the Sacco activities returned to normalcy.

“I, on behalf of this new team, assure the members that we will go out of our way to find a lasting solution to this impasse. We are grateful and really honoured for the trust our members have bestowed on us and we assure them that things will work out sooner rather than later,” said Maina.

According to Jonathan Mulei who is a member of the Sacco, these negative results can be attributed to fake audit reports for the last three years where he accused the Sacco auditors of keying in counterfeit data that indicated that all was well in the Sacco.

“All we are calling for here are external auditors who will help us ascertain the real facts as those who have been doing so were compromised by the current directors to portray the wrong picture. The Sacco has been secretly borrowing money to present fake dividends to members during our AGMs. Members have not been able to secure loans,” said Mulei.

Mulei also alleged that those whose salaries were wired through the Sacco’s Front Office Services Activity (FOSA) desk have been receiving a maximum of a third of it, with the balance being paid in instalments, something that had been inconveniencing them so much. He also claimed that their M-PESA Paybill account was non-operational and served no purpose to the members.

“The Sacco is no longer growing as no new members are allowed on board. The management too has suspended any withdrawal of the existing members, something that has boxed us in here without an option of seeking for alternatives,” said Joshua Mwangi, a teacher from Gatundu North.

Orient Sacco Ltd, whose offices are situated next to Whiteline Hotel in Thika, draws its membership largely from TSC teachers in Thika Town, Gatundu North and South, Gatuanyaga and Kakuzi Divisions. Its management has been grappling to forestall aneroded confidence and financial prudence with the perennial scams bedeviling the institution have been blamed on weak internal financial controls.

Efforts to get a comment from the ousted officials were fruitless as they all declined to talk to the press.

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