Charles Muthui, humble and soft spoken is the founder of County link contractors and logistics limited. Previously, he was on permanent employment at the Teachers service commission (TSC) where he work as a driver with his construction career as a side hustle.
I worked for TSC as a driver for six good years. Just like any other person (Kenyan) I use to do construction work as my small hustle away from the main employment until I landed a big contract with the government of Kituyi County which all the savings I had could not facilitate.
The tender was published and like any other contractor, I presented my bid. I was lucky to get a tender worth Kshs.7 million unfortunately, I did not have enough money to commence the assignment. I went to my bank to ask for loan and did not get. After trying different avenues my struggle only so the light of the day at UTS.
I have been a member of UTS (64274) for the last three years. I was introduced to the Sacco by a friend who today is one of the directors. With the ‘small’ savings I had, I applied for a loan and believe me or not, I got Kshs. 2million. I did not believe this myself and so I could begin the work.
Since then my life has never been the same again in fact I had to resign from TSC this year (2018) to concentrate in my construction business. This could not have been possible if it was not UTS, a Sacco that has brought new fortune into my life. I am married to one wife and I am a father to one daughter who we live with happily.
According to Charles, Saccos have proved to be the saving grace to many people as oppose to commercial bank and saving with a Sacco comes with many benefits.
Earlier on I was saving with a bank which I request not to tell you the name but you know what? When you decide to quit the bank, you will have nothing to carry with you. The advantage of a Sacco is that if you choose to leave, you can go with your savings.
Universal traders Sacco remains a Sacco of my choice and will never imagine of quitting come rain come sunshine in fact I urge or encourage those who do not belong to any Sacco to join UTS because it is the Sacco where ‘together, we prosper.’
Petronial Mulwa is another beneficiary of UTS Sacco, Wote branch. I am as old as the branch. I mean I have been a member since the branch was started ten years ago (2008). I have enjoyed the loan product of this Sacco.
As opposed to commercial banks that are having so many complications and very many demands…… UTS has been there for us, I say for me. I have been taking loans to purchase land for farming. Anytime when I see a land on sale, I go take loan, buy the land and take all the time paying banks.
Here we are not given specific duration to pay back the loan you can take all your time as long as you finally repay it all unlike banks that will start harassing you even before the repayment period they gave you is over.
Shelter is a basic need. Granted, it is very difficult for people to undertake their daily duties if they do not have a roof over their heads. In Kenya, millions of households in the rural areas do not have decent shelter mainly because they lack the resources and the knowledge on how to put up the same. The situation is no better in the urban areas where countless people migrate frequently, in pursuit of economic opportunities.
Fortunately for Petronila, from UTS loan products she has managed to build a better house, she has managed to take children to school and even bought cows.
She says the good thing with UTS is, there are many loan products that suit all your financial needs. For some loan products, you can get even five terms your saving, go do business and payback comfortably.
Unlike banks where you live with nothing when you say enough is enough, at UTS you can go with your shares (Share capital). This means, you can save for your children or your children’s children.
The beneficiaries were sharing their testimonies with Sacco Times Magazine during Sacco’s special general meeting held at Machakos University grounds which was also the society’s education day which the Sacco convenes to in an endeavor for it to fulfill its statutory, duty of fostering reciprocal and ongoing education programmes to its members.
According to the Sacco Chairman Simon Kitheka, it is in accordance with the cooperative principal of education, training and information which the society has promised to uphold, and therefore incorporated in the society’s bylaws.
He reports that the Sacco has achieved all the required capital adequacy ratios expected for the institutional capital which is currently standing at 6.8 per cent against the minimum requirement of 8 per cent.
This is in line with requirements of Sacco society regulatory authority (SASRA) licensing guidelines which indicate that a Sacco seeking to be granted a license or renewal must maintain prudent capital adequacy ratios like core capital of not less than Kshs. 10 million, core capital of 10 per cent of total society assets and institutional capital of not less than 8per cent of total society assets.
UTS had to employ a number of strategies which include share capital mobilsation drive, pro-rata share capital payment based on loan amount borrowed, capitalization of dividends and share capital non –withdrwable but transferable.
On member savings mobilization, the chairman encourages more savings by members both for the purpose of borrowing and also for future, especially retirement since the board realized that the Sacco is not doing very well in saving mobilizations as envisaged in its vision and mission statements.
The board has put in place stringent measures to ensure all funds disbursed are well secured and recoverable to protect member’s funds.
The chairman says his board continues to explore member’s needs to ensure that the right products are offered to them. As a result they recently implemented a new software system which has a number of products and services at members’ disposal and are accessible through mobile phone and very soon will be accessed on the internet. The Sacco inviting members who can run the agency banking to register for training at the respective branches and make formal applications for considerations.
The board, following member’s requests has reviewed the minimum capital and minimum shares requirements from Kshs 50,000 to Kshs. 30000 and Kshs. 300000 to Kshs. 200000 respectively, and the number of delegates reduced from 84 to 68 proportionately as per the allocation of each branch