Stories of Various Sacco Societies in Kenya

1. USHURU Savings and Credit Co-operative (Sacco) Limited was started in 1970 by employees of the then Customs and Excise Department, Ministry of Finance, under the name of Customs & Excise Workers (CUEW) Sacco. At inception, its membership was limited to employees of the Customs Department, although those who were transferred from Customs to other Government Departments enjoyed the right to retain their membership.

When Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) was formed in 1995, the CUEW Sacco By-laws, in force at the time, did not allow recruitment of members outside the common bond. This necessitated changes to the By-laws in order to allow membership from other Government Ministries and Parastatals. In 2002, the CUEW Sacco changed its name to USHURU Sacco Limited to reflect the new all-inclusive membership that now consisted of KRA employees.

2. Stima SACCO was established in 1974. It was formed to act as a means of facilitating savings and to provide affordable credit to employees of the then east African Power & Lighting Company. The Society is therefore 36 years old. On the other hand the society responded to members banking needs and introduced the Front Office Service Activity (FOSA) in April 2003 to offer basic banking Services to members.

3. From our humble beginnings in 1993, Unaitas was registered as a Savings and Credit cooperative Society known as Murang’a Tea Growers. A pioneering group of farmers had come together, pooling their resources to create a financial basket, where they could save and advance loans at affordable rates.

The Sacco later adopted the name Muramati Sacco in 2007 when administrative areas of operation expanded beyond Murang’a, and it opened its common bond to not only serve tea growers, but also medium size entrepreneurs and salaried employees. In line with its growth and expansion strategy, Muramati rebranded to Unaitas in 2012- adopting a strong, bold brand that is inclusive of members from all walks of life, doing things that are not ordinary in ways that are progressive.

4. Shirika Sacco was registered on 24th April,1969 by the founder members of the Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing which is the parent ministry.

Common Bond
Originally membership was drawn from the ministry of Co-operative Development but later, due to changes in the economy, it was found necessary to widen this scope to include all other government ministries, all cooperative related organizations;  and other reputable public organizations,  but which are approved by the Annual General Meeting. With this enlarged scope, we are able to retain our members who change or quit employment for various reasons. Regardless of the employment status, members are treated equal and observe the operating policies and procedures.

Since registration in 1969, the Society has had upward growth in membership.  During its early years of operation, and up to 1999 membership levels had reached a ceiling of 3500 members. However due to the Government reform programmes which aimed at downsizing its workforce in the year 2000; the Society lost more than half of its membership.

The real effect was that the Sacco had to continue operations with:

  • Reduced member capacity
  • Reduced capital base due to withdrawals
  • Non performing loans

Loans from retrenched members were not recoverable from retrenchment package but management enhanced recovery procedures which were very successful and no bad debts were declared.
On recovery process management adopted other governance strategies particularly:

  • Member recruitment drive
  • Fixed percentage of share contribution rate
  • Improved service delivery

The above strategies along with others have successfully seen the Society membership grow to 4210 as at today.  Our operations and financial status are stable with total shares & Deposits of Ksh. 876,639,677 and a loan portfolio of Ksh. 869,153,767.

5. Boresha Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Ltd Originally Baringo Teachers SACCO Society Ltd is one of the well managed Sacco Licensed by SASRA as deposit taking SACCO.Registered on 31st August 1976 under Cap 490 of the Laws of Kenya. Its area of operation is the Republic of Kenya with base in Baringo County.

The society has eight branches spread across Six Districts of Baringo County and the Neighbouring Towns.

Member Comprises Teachers in Primary and High Schools,Civil Servants,Institutions’ Employees,KNUT and NGO’s staff classified as salaried Members Category “A”.

The Business Community, Micro-Credit Members and SME’s are classified as Category “B” with Main services in FOSA (Front Office Services Activity) and Micro credit Activities.

6. Chai Sacco was registered in 1973 to offer financial services to KTDA workers both at the factories and Head Office.

In 1999, front office service activities were started and have evolved to a fully fledged FOSA at the Head Office with one branch at Kericho (Litein Branch).In 2005, the common bond was opened to include members from well established business organizations and tea farmers.

The society has been recognised internationally by World Council of Credit Union (WOCCU) in Micro-Finance Expansion Programme (MFI) among other sixteen Saccos in the contry as a model for others.

The society has also been selected by Micro-Save Africa in product Development Programme from micro enterprises to assit the society in production development process

7. Metropolitan Teachers Sacco Society (formerly Kiambu Teachers Sacco which was registered on 10th February 1977,CS NO: 2628) started operations in 1978.
The society intended to serve primary school teachers in Kiambu District, Central Province. Over the years, the society’s by-laws have been amended and the membership is now comprised of Teachers ,Kenya National Union Of Teachers(KNUT),Civil Servants, Disciplined Forces, Local Authorities, NGO’s, Central and County Governments, Private Companies, Approved Business Entrepreneurs, Groups ,Other Institutions and Kenyans Residing in the Diaspora hence the change of name to Metropolitan Teachers Sacco Limited to cater for the diversity.

As at 30th june 2012, the society’s membership stood at 30,086 .Currently the society has 12 Board of directors (Management board 9 and Supervisory board 3) and a work force of 32 employees.

8. Harambee Sacco: from a Merry-go round, into a multi – billion institution.

Set up by a handful of small income earners and struggling subordinate staff at the Office of the President (OP), way back in 1970; Harambee Sacco is today a multi-billion shilling institution, with thousands of members and an expansive country-wide network that few financial institution in Kenya can match.

With a net asset base of about Ksh. 15 billion,  Harambee Sacco, is feted as the biggest membership base Sacco in Kenya, and the leading in Africa; boasting of over 93, 000 members across the country.

From a single unit at the office of the President, Harambee Sacco has now been devolved into 155 delegate or electoral branches across Kenya, serving our members in the remotest of locations in the country. Indeed, Harambee Sacco continues to enjoy a customer penetration level that goes way down into the minute administrative level in Kenya with chiefs and sub-chiefs in the locations and sub-locations being members of Harambee Sacco.

The 155 delegate or electoral branches are supplemented by five major operational branches set-up in major towns like Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi, Eldoret and Nakuru.

9. Afya Co-operative Savings and Credit Society was registered on 
8th May 1971 by some twenty founder members/promoters. Membership has grown progressively over the past forty years and to date there are over 38,000 members.

10. Elimu Sacco was registered in 1972 by employees from the Ministry of Education. It is currently situated in South “B”, Elimu House on Mubiru Road Off Daidai Road.

11. Wakenya Pamoja Sacco Society Limited (WPS) was started in 1976 as a Union Banking Section of Kisii Farmers Co-operative Union (KFCU). It became autonomous in 1992 under the name Gusii Farmers Rural Sacco Society Limited (GRFS). The Society has, over the years, undergone major governance reforms which have facilitated: the change of name which was in line with the strategic move to expand geographically and explore other financial opportunities; and diversification of the membership to increase the society’s scope beyond tea and coffee to include value chain financing, microfinance, business development financing, asset financing among others.

12. Kenya Bankers Savings and Credit Co-operative Society was registered on 14th Feb 1975. The society’s core business is to mobilize savings from the members out of which credit is approved at affordable interest rates. Its members are drawn from banks, non-bank financial institutions, building societies and other money related institutions, with over 13,000 active members.

13. Mwalimu Cooperative Savings & Credit Society Limited(SACCO) was formed and registered in the year 1974 under the Co-operative Societies Act as a SACCO Society whose main objective is to mobilize savings and provide credit to its members.

Its Current membership of over 52,664 in 2012 is drawn mainly from:

  • TSC Secretariat
  • TSC teachers in Secondary schools & Tertiary institutions,
  • TSC teachers in Primary schools (Diploma OR Degree holders)
  • Mwalimu National Sacco Society Staff
  • Members’ Spouses in formal employment.

14. Young United Entrepreneurs Sacco was registered in 2012 under the co-operative Act of kenya with an aim to empower and support young entrepreneurs financially. The sacco is currently located in Ruiru town, with members drawn from the proprietors of Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) and their employees.

15. Kilifi Teachers Sacco. Less than 100 members in Malindi started mobilizing savings (shares) on 26th June 1972 but it was not until 14th September 1974 when the society was officially registered. The major objective of the Sacco has all along been to afford members-most of whom are low-income earners- an opportunity to save, thereby creating a pool from which they can borrow at an affordable interest for productive and provident purposes. Statistical information shown below gives an indication of the level of the Saccos growth since inception.

From the time of inception upto 1990, the sacco offices had been based in Malindi, until they were shifted to Kilifi. However, due to the rapid growth, the Sacco has now a Head office and two branches at Kilifi, Malindi and Mariakani respectively.

16. Hazina Sacco Society Limited is a nationwide Savings and Credit Co-operative Society established in 1971 and registered under Co-operatives Societies Act (Cap 490) of the laws of Kenya with the main objective of affording its members an opportunity to accumulate their savings, thereby creating a source of loanable funds.

Members of the Society are drawn from various Government Ministries, Parastatals, Non- Governmental Organizations and Private Sector. Currently, the Society has over 10,000 members .

The goal is to be a leading and best-managed SACCO Society in provision of quality products and services to members and stakeholders while ensuring high returns on Investment.

17. Fundilima Sacco Society Ltd was registered on 5th January 1982 by the commissioner of cooperative Development and marketing. The name fundilima was derived from the mother company which means (Fundi) for the technology and (Lima) for Agriculture. The main office of the society is situated within the main campus of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Tech (JKUAT)

The pioneers of this society decided to register it to enable its members get a vehicle where they can be able to mobilize their savings and get cheaper credits in order to meet their daily financially and social needs.

The society has been able to meet members’ challenges. Some of them have been able to pay dowry through credits from the society; students have been able to accomplish their education, members have been able to purchase plots, buy vehicles, build houses, pay hospital bills, educate themselves, travel abroad and accumulate savings among other things.
Since its inception the society has been able to grant loans to its members well over Kshs.2, 500,000,000.00(two billion five hundred million) with the highest loaned amount being granted Kshs 3,000,000.00(three million)

Fundilima Sacco Society has continued to give higher returns to its members. In the last financial year the society paid out dividends to its to its members at the rate of 22% and members deposit earned interest at the rate of 8.5%.During Ushirika day celebration, we were awarded a certificate for being one of the highest dividend paying society for the year 2007.

18. In 1998 the Kenya Medical Association SACCO (KMA SACCO) was registered as a Savings and Credit Co-operative Society to offer financial services to KMA members.
In the year 2001 KMA SACCO published its First Audited Financial Statements. The SACCO has grown tremendously and is positioned as a major financier for medical practitioners countrywide.
In 2012 KMA SACCO amended its by-laws to include pharmacists and other medical professionals including medical students into SACCO membership.

19. Naku Sacco. The society membership is drawn from permanent staff of the following companies in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda;

Nakumatt Holdings Ltd, Seal Honey Ltd, Sunmatt Ltd, Tusker Mattress Ltd, Motor Boutique Ltd, Eastleigh Mattress, Woolmatt and Eggen Joinex.

20. Maisha Bora Sacco. The Society was formed and registered on 10 th October 1974. Like any other SACCO, the aims were to provide an avenue to enable members save money, thereby create a fund from which to borrow money for personal development.
The Society was registered and lived under the name KIMBO SACCO until October 2003 when the name was changed to Maisha Bora.
Over the years, the SACCO has registered great leaps in savings and loans to members. This has been possible due to commitment of the committee members, dedicated staff, and total support by members. Maisha Bora SACCO is one of the best-managed SACCOs in the country and has enjoyed consistent growth while consistently delivering double digit dividends to its members.

……………………TO CONTINUE………………………


2 Responses

  1. Hi I read the cooperative formation of ur country and like to arrange a meeting to come there to help activate cooperatives here. Almost 98% of them are dead and need ur model to start afresh and that will help the countries to work to achieve common goal. We are trying to establish an academy, agency, bank and ombudsman and to train for cooperative readiness and this partnership will work and wait for ur responds and thanks for opening a talk with ur organization.

    • Hi Andy.

      I hope you are well aware now that this is a blog that educates on co-operatives in Kenya. For official communications, you will need to visit government website as get the contacts from there. Otherwise all the best.

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