Fired up by its fiftieth birthday, tier one Sacco scoops five top awards in a day that is dear to the co-operative movement globally
By George Gichuki
The International Day of Co-operatives has been celebrated globally since 1923. Known in Kenya as Ushirika Day, this year marked the centenary (one hundred years) celebrations ofthis historic global event. The day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1995 and traditionally, it is celebrated every year on the first Saturday of July. It was celebrated in 2022, after a break of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s theme of the day was: ‘Co-operatives build a better world.’ The theme was inspired by the innovative model of co-operatives globally, which allows all the players in the movement to have a shared identity, making the world a better place for humanity. Underpinning this theme are themovement’s values of democracy, self-responsibility, social responsibility, equity, equality and caring for others.
The climax of Ushirika Day this year were the celebrations at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) grounds where various co-operative societies showcased their products and services. Kenya National Police Deposit Taking Sacco (commonly known as Police Sacco) was among the exhibitors during the colourful event.
As part of these celebrations, the co-operative societies which have been outstanding in various fields of business in 2022 were feted. True to its tradition, Police Sacco’s performance during these awards was exemplary. To start with, it attained position one in the ‘Best in Credit Management, deposit taking Saccos – employer based Sacco tier one and position two as the Best in Credit management countrywide categories. It also attained position two in the ‘Best Managed Countrywide’ category. In the same vein, Police Sacco clinched position two in the ‘Best Managed Sacco- deposit taking employer based tier one Sacco’ category. Finally, the Sacco was position three in the ‘Best in Risk Management deposit taking Saccos- employer based Saccos tier one category. It was an icing on the cake to its fiftieth anniversary celebrations.
Founded in 1972 by only six hundred and ninety members, Police Sacco has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. With an asset base of over Kshs. 44 billion and a membership of over 65,000 according to a recent report by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA). Its membership is mainly drawn from the police service (both retired and serving officers). Nevertheless, in line with the market trends, the Sacco has opened its common bond to civil servants, professionals, business people and employees in the private sector. By the same token, Police Sacco has a loan portfolio of Kshs. 37 billion and eight branches countrywide.
From a humble beginning, the giant tier one Sacco has weathered many challenges over the years and learnt invaluable lessons in the process. This has placed it on a steady path of growth,making it one of theleading Saccos in Kenya. Indeed, going by its asset base, Police Sacco is ranked number three nationally by SASRA. A testimony of this meteoric growth is the Sacco’s iconic headquarters in Ngara, Nairobi. It is a state of the art building which also houses a branch in one of its floors as well as other private businesses and organizations.
As Police Sacco marks its fiftieth anniversary (golden jubilee) this year, it has very many reasons to look back at its history with a lot of pride. To start with, it has been able to develop an array of innovative products that are suitable to its members’ needs. They include credit, savings as well as home loan and investment products through the Kenya Police Investment Co-operative. Significantly, going by the trends in the market in this era of digitization, Police Sacco has developed a mobile banking product dubbed M-tawi. By using this product, members can make deposits to individual and group accounts, apply for loans and pay utility bills, besides making various service requests.
Taking cognizance of the fact that members (customers) are the pillars of its successful business, Police Sacco offers them low interest on their loans as well as high annual dividends and interest on deposits so that they can improve their living standards. It is a win-win strategy that has enabled the giant Sacco to bring very many members on board and to retain the existing ones.