Registering a Co-operative Society

There are so many people asking about co-operative registration. I have already put up information regarding co-operative registration on this blog. To summarize it all, the maximum number of people required to register a primary co-operative, is ten. Primary co-operatives are like Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society, Stima Savings and Credit Co-operative Society Limited, Urithi Housing Co-operative Society, Safaricom Investment Co-operative Society Limited, etc. The secondary co-operatives are the co-operative unions like KUSCCO (Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives), Meru Central Dairy Co-operative Union, etc and they require only two primary co-operatives to register them.

The ten people must qualify to be members i.e. they must have attained the age of eighteen years; their employment, occupation or profession falls within the category or description of those for which the co-operative society is formed; and they are residents within, or occupy land within, the society’s area of operation as described in the relevant by-law.

Preferably, start as a self help group and slowly build on the membership numbers and savings. This way it will be easier to convince the co-operative officer that your group is viable and can easily break even once registered. As a group, you would have interacted and known one another well before thinking of a co-operative. Its easier promoting a self-help group that has been existence for awhile to be registered as a co-operative than people who have just met. I am saying this because people expect miracles once their society is registered. If you cannot keep working on it, then expect membership withdrawals and subsequent death of the society.

There are people who have also been promised by politicians that they will be ‘helped’ once they form a co-operative. STOP. No money is free. Freebies will not take you anywhere. There is a story where a group of motorcycle operators were instructed to form a boda boda Sacco by a politician and as soon as they were given seed money, they distributed the money among themselves. Society became dormant.

A co-operative is about people not capital. Without people, there is no co-operative. The requirement of ten people aught to be amended if I was asked. The Co-operative Societies Act clearly states that if the membership of a co-operative society falls below ten, then its registration is cancelled.  A co-operative management committee has a minimum number of five and a maximum of nine members. A supervisory committee of a co-operative has three members. No executive officer of a co-operative society should be in the credit sub-committee. So, if you do the math, a ten member co-operative society will have difficulties in fulfilling the requirements of the Act.

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One Response

  1. Reblogged this on Kenya Co-operative Movement.

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