Members of the troubled Samuru Gituto Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Murang’a County have held their first annual general meeting (AGM) in 15 years’ time after the vicious leadership wrangles came to an end.
The cooperative, comprising of mostly elderly members, has been embroiled in court cases and has been marred by irregular sale of 1,700 acres of land.
However, after the Court of Appeal ruled on the matter on March 22, the senior citizens held their AGM at Ihura Stadium on Friday and conducted the elections.
They vowed to fight for the return of the land which was sold illegally.
The cooperative society will now be led by George Kuria as the chairman, Phillip Wanyoike, John Wanyoike and Evans Kagwi as the vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer respectively.
After the elections, Mr Kuria vowed to fight to ensure the land which was sold by the former officials is returned it to the members.
“We shall strive to ensure that we get our land back and that every member will get his or her shares,” Mr Kuria said.
The group hailed the Court of Appeal for overturning a judgment by a Thika court and that of the High Court saying they would have lost the 310 acres of land which had been sold without the consent of the over 4,826 members.
In a judgment delivered by judges Philip Waki, K Musinga and J Otieno Odek, the Court of Appeal issued orders restraining the respondents from entering in any dealings including the sub-division and sale of the 301 acres in the strength of orders issued by the lower courts.
The judges harshly described the faction that had sold the land and their lawyers saying “… This is yet another conundrum precipitated by persons masquerading as leaders of co-operative societies and land-buying companies, in the process causing considerable pain and hardship to humble and poor wananchi, whose only sin was to get together and pool their meagre resources to buy and share land. Invariably, the motivating factor for the leadership squabbles is the greed for power and influence, or simply put, corruption. Sadly, in this unholy mix are lawyers who are expected to assist the parties and shed light on the law but instead end up complicating matters even further.”