Bandari Sacco officials in Sh5m fraud blame game

Bandari Sacco members in support of their of chief executive officer Mr.John Ragama (in checked shirt) outside the Sacco's office on April 7, 2016 after section of the management decided to throw him of office. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA |

What you need to know:

  • Accusations and counter-accusations flew as three officials of Bandari Savings and Credit Cooperative Society on Thursday recorded statements with the police over the theft of more than Sh5 million through fraudulent ATM withdrawals.
  • Chief executive officer John Ragama, treasurer Moses Mugambi and secretary Robert Dziro were escorted to Mombasa Port Police Station after a scuffle at the sacco offices, where two parties traded accusations regarding the theft.
  • While Mr Mugambi said several officials, including Mr Ragama, had been sent on leave pending investigations, the CEO said he had not received a letter to that effect.
  • Mr Ragama alleged that Mr Mugambi and the other officials facilitated the theft. He said that after he was alerted of unexplained withdrawals with the money channelled to one of the officials’ account, he instituted an investigation that revealed that the money had, indeed, been stolen.
  • Mr Mugambi meanwhile accused Mr Ragama of signing his own contract for an extension of his three-year term.

Accusations and counter-accusations flew as three officials of Bandari Savings and Credit Cooperative Society on Thursday recorded statements with the police over the theft of more than Sh5 million through fraudulent ATM withdrawals.

Chief executive officer John Ragama, treasurer Moses Mugambi and secretary Robert Dziro were escorted to Mombasa Port Police Station after a scuffle at the sacco offices, where two parties traded accusations regarding the theft.

The chairman, Mr Danson Kyule, accompanied them.

While Mr Mugambi said several officials, including Mr Ragama, had been sent on leave pending investigations, the CEO said he had not received a letter to that effect.

Mr Ragama alleged that Mr Mugambi and the other officials facilitated the theft. He said that after he was alerted of unexplained withdrawals with the money channelled to one of the officials’ account, he instituted an investigation that revealed that the money had, indeed, been stolen.

“The sacco could have lost more money though collaboration with some ICT staff,” said Mr Ragama. “Some people are trying to cast me in a bad light but I know I am clean.”

SIGNING OWN CONTRACT

Mr Mugambi meanwhile accused Mr Ragama of signing his own contract for an extension of his three-year term.

But Mr Ragama claimed that the contract was signed by the chairman and the secretary after Mr Mugambi declined to sign the document.

“What we have done is a routine reshuffle of staff and asking others to go on leave so that we can carry out investigations,” said Mr Mugambi. “Why is Ragama refusing to proceed on leave? It seems he is hiding something.”

Mr Ragama added that a lawyer and an external auditor, both not appointed by the delegates as required by law, attended a meeting he had with the new team on Tuesday in which they discussed the theft.

He claimed that unknown people broke into his office overnight and it was not clear whether they were looking for some documents or equipment.

Bandari Sacco has more than 15,000 members and an investment capital base of over Sh6 billion.

On Thursday, a section of members accused the officials of purporting to be their representatives yet they had imposed themselves with the sole aim of covering up their fraudulent deals.

They said Mr Kyule and his two-week-old team were not elected by members but carried out a “boardroom coup”, insisting that they recognised Mr Gerald Ojung’a’s team.

The Kenya Association of Front Office Service Activities (Fosa) national chairman, Mr Isadorius Agolla, asked the officials to iron out their differences lest they bring down the sacco.

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