- Mr Wilson Koech, another member, complained that the liquidator had not called for a meeting with the members after Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra) appointed them.
- They claimed they spent Sh400 million to put up the structure in downtown Eldoret and would not accept the planned auction.
A well-orchestrated scheme, manipulation and collusion. These are the tactics former directors at the ailing Moi University Savings Credit Cooperative Society (Musco) allegedly used to swindle its members of millions of shillings.
The investors are not sure if they will ever recover their hard-earned cash after years of pumping monies into the once-vibrant and most-envied sacco in the country.
From hopeful savers to demonstrating beggars, members of Musco have become disillusioned with their sacco that is on the brink of collapse.
In 1988, Moi University staff joined hands and formed a sacco to empower themselves economically. It drew membership from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Masinde Muliro, Maasai Mara and Kabianga universities.
Life was good for members at the time as most banks did not offer credit facilities and workers relied heavily on the saccos to meet their financial obligations.
“We would apply for a loan in the morning and in the afternoon you walked away with your cash. This made me pay Sh500 to join the sacco,” recounts Mr Samuel Yego, purchasing assistant at Moi University. He joined in 1994.
Between 1993 and 1997, the sacco was the talk of town. It bagged a number of awards in the country as the best credit facility.
Top farmers and businessmen banked their money there and the membership grew to over 6,000.
In 2000, the members agreed to acquire assets by constructing the Moi University Plaza located at the main campus in Kesses. It now hosts its offices and has also been rented out to a college.
They also bought a 1,000-acre parcel of land where members got between two and a half and five acres each.
Around 2007, the sacco decided to buy a piece of land in Eldoret to build Musco Towers. This marked the genesis of its problems.
By 2015, cracks started to show in the sacco. Mr Stanley Tirop, now the interim chairperson of the committee trying to salvage the sacco, recalls how members started receiving loans in bits.
“If you borrowed Sh200,000, you were given Sh20,000 or Sh50,000. Some of the members pulled out of the sacco altogether with their savings,” he recalls.
Indications that the sacco was headed in the wrong direction appeared in February last year when Commissioner for Co-operatives Mary Mungai placed it under liquidation.
A gazette notice published last year by Ms Mungai appointed two liquidators to take custody for a year.