Coops root for tribunal alterations

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 01:45 | By
State Department for Co-operatives Principal Secretary Patrick Kilemi
State Department for Co-operatives Principal Secretary Patrick Kilemi. PHOTO/Print

Co-operative stakeholders are advocating for an independent tribunal to be included in the Cooperative Bill 2024 to address emerging disputes within the movement.

State Department for Co-operatives Principal Secretary Patrick Kilemi (pictured) has confirmed the push for a tribunal managed by the department, separate from the current judiciary-managed tribunals.

Kilemi says this move would help ease the backlog of cases in the co-operative movement.

“Establishing the tribunal under the department will allow personnel well-versed in cooperative issues, in addition to legal expertise,” he said.

After the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, all previously established tribunals were placed under the judiciary.

Emerging issues

Kilemi noted that including the co-operative tribunal under the judiciary has contributed to delays in hearing and resolving cases, as the court calendar and budgetary allocation are determined by the Judicial Service Commission.

Additionally, personnel and members of the tribunals are provided by the judiciary, making it difficult to manage emerging issues in the movement promptly.

The department has proposed significant changes to the Co-operative Act Cap 490 to reflect current realities in the movement. The Co-operative Bill, 2024 has passed the second reading in parliament.

“We are proposing the inclusion of the tribunal in the Co-operative Bill, 2024 so that we can have an opportunity to solve issues in the movement,” said Kilem during the inauguration of the Ushirika Day celebration series of activities to be celebrated on July 6, 2024.

Frustration of Coops

Co-operative Alliance of Kenya (CAK) chairman Macloud Malonza stated that shifting the tribunal is frustrating the development of the movement.

“Our idea is to have a tribunal that is wholly managed by the co-operative movement, including budgetary allocation. The tribunal must reflect the current realities in the movement,” he said.

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