Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has taken a swipe at Bishop David Kariuki Ngari the Chairman of the troubled Ekeza Sacco warning him against invoking his name in the raging woes between the sacco and the government.
This follows the discussion by the Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya on Thursday, last week, stopped Bishop Ngari, popularly known as Gakuyo, from auctioning his property to refund the Sacco members’ savings.
Without mincing words Kabogo took to Twitter where he asked Gakuyo to carry his own cross, adding that he had warned Kiambu residents against investing in the Sacco.
“Bwana Gakuyo Beba msalaba wako mwenyewe. Yes I told people to be wary of your scheme. Was I not right? The proceeds of the sale of your properties should be placed under the depositors’ protection fund and be shared amongst those you got it from. You should be ashamed of yourself,” wrote the former governor.
Kabogo was categorical that the proceeds from the sale of the property should be placed under the depositors’ protection so as to ensure their savings are reimbursed.
It is worth noting that the former Kiambu governor had warned the residents against the Sacco advising them quick money was not good for them. “I want to tell you today, don’t save your money in Ekeza, you will be putting your money in a hole … even the Bible says quick wealth has no blessings,” said Kabogo, then the governor of Kiambu.
The government’s decision to stop the auction came days after Bishop Ngari indicated that he was in the process of selling some of his prime property in a bid to pay back members’ dues.
He made the announcement in Thika after a service at the Calvary Chosen Centre church where he assured the 53,000 members of the Sacco that they would be receiving their savings after he sold his properties.
“I want to assure all the 53,000 members of Ekeza Sacco that no one will lose his or her money. All those who want their money refunded will get it back and that’s why I put up for sale all properties that I have so that I can raise the money to repay back your money,” said Gakuyo.
The move by CS Industry Munya to intervene and secure the investment by members of the troubled Ekeza Sacco found Gakuyo off guard.The CS directed the Commissioner of Cooperatives to stop the embattled Ekeza Sacco, owner David ‘Gakuyo’ Ngari, from selling its properties.
Embattled David Kariuki Ngari, popularly known as Gakuyo, had reportedly gone into hiding. He fled after he sued his employees at Gakuyo Real Estate and Ekeza Sacco, which he owns.
On January 25, lawyers Steve Kabucho and Benard Muriuki representing the employees told a Kiambu court that despite the four sacked employees reporting to the DCI every two weeks, efforts to have Kariuki appear had been futile.
Kariuki is the bishop of Chosen Calvary Centre Ministries in Thika town. A fortnight ago on a Sunday, he slipped away after sacco members camped outside his church, demanding their savings.
The CS made it clear that his order was hinged on the possibility of the Bishop failing to reimburse the disgruntled Sacco members following the sale of the properties. “I am not convinced that the proceeds of the sale will be used to repay the members,” he explained.
The government intervention follows Gakuyo’s move to put his properties up for sale in order to pay money owed to members of the Sacco. They include a residential property within Nyari Estate near Village Market in Nairobi, a hotel in Juja and a house on half an acre land along Thika-Garissa road in Makongeni.
Munya also refuted Gakuyo’s claims that the Sacco accounts had been frozen thereby inhibiting his ability to repay the members.
“The accounts are still operating with the Commissioner of Cooperatives as a signatory. It is through this arrangement that the ministry has realized a payment of KSh116 million to over 2,000 members with less than KSh75,000 in deposits,” he affirmed.
Gakuyo had assured members who had stormed into his church compound last Sunday, that each one of them would be compensated following the sale of his properties.
Munya urged members to exercise patience as the ministry carried out various inquiries and legal processes. He added that mobile service providers that had continued to remit funds into the Sacco after it was placed under government receivership in April 2018, would be prosecuted.
The sacco’s license was cancelled and it was placed under receivership by the government last year over non-compliance with the law.
Members of the sacco have been camping at the sacco offices in Nairobi and other towns, demanding a refund of the money they had saved in the sacco. More than 500 members camped at Ngari’s church, Calvary Chosen Center, demanding to see the cleric.
Gakuyo Real Estate, which is the sister company to Ekeza sacco, put an advert in one of the dailies listing some of the prime properties that he is seeking to sell.
They include a residential property within Nyari Estate near Village Market in Nairobi, a hotel in Juja and a house on half an acre along Thika-Garissa road in Makongeni. Others are 50 acres in Kilimabogo Thika, 100 acres in Kabati, Murang’a county and a quarry in Kabati.
“The sacco accounts have been frozen and therefore I am not able to access the money to refund your savings. I am pleading with you to be patient as we seek ways to sort out the matter,” Ngari told the members.
Ekeza Sacco has been dogged by controversy since last year when the government announced it had cancelled its license through a gazette notice on March 23, 2018.
Commissioner for co-operative development Mary Mungai shut down the sacco on March 26 on claims of violating the law. The society had 26 branches and KSh2.56 billion in deposits at the time.
She revoked its permit after receiving complaints that Ekeza was sharing office space and bank accounts with Gakuyo Real Estate.
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