“Misfortune loves a shining mark”, so they say. When you just start making it, some people vanish with your hard earned money.
‘Dr’ David Kariuki Ngari alias Gakuyo; if you don’t know the name yet, do some search on the internet. The story comes from a common script that Kenyans and the authorities have continually ignored. That of unscrupulous businessmen who are custodians of their hard earned money eager to rip them off. Remember Chase Bank?
Kenya has about 43 Banks and about 12,000 cooperative societies of which 5,000 are Sacco. While some are giving their best, others have found an easy path to make money from their members. Shocking revelations of how Mwalimu Sacco (One of the most profitable Sacco in Kenya) lost Ksh.2 Billion have emerged and this leads us to ask; Is there anywhere safe?
Here are a few lessons to learn from the Sacco.
- Never put all your eggs in one basket. This is a cliche’ I know but imagine what people who had put most of their savings felt when Dubai Bank and Chase bank collapsed. Learn to distribute your wealth. Even better, learn to buy asset instead of keeping money in the bank.
- If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck then it probably is a duck. Show me that one politician who is trustworthy and I will show you a cock that lays eggs. If your Sacco is ran by politicians, my friend run.
- Always learn be in the know-how. Its your money, don’t sit and watch, take part. Take part in AGMs if you are a shareholder and any other meeting. Get to know how your money is being used. Better still, make a friend from the inside.
- Be wary of ‘Men of God’ who are businessmen. From Kanyari to Gakuyo to ‘Mum and Dad’ Pastors. Take caution while investing in their projects. If you have to, take heed of the first point above.
- If there is a ‘small’ scandal of embezzlement and the management lies low, take your money and leave.
That said, I don’t mean you put your money under your pillow. I know the importance of a Sacco and bank for I too have used them and continue to use them. The most important thing is for you to understand the ins and outs of your Sacco/bank.