The Annual General Meeting convened by the giant Taita Taveta Vindo Multi-Purpose Co-op Society officials after a 3-year hiatus aborted abruptly yesterday in mid stream, due to dissatisfied members’ impatience with official answers.

After lengthy deliberations lasting over six hours, the dwindling list of hungry, tired and some visibly old members present numbering about 115 after an earlier massive exodus from the Voi CDF Hall, agreed to give the officials, led by Chairman Benedict Mghanga-a retired Primary School teacher, three months of preparions for the resumption of the AGM which had been slated to elect a new Committee.

The assembly, which last met on June 9, 2012 under a special notice despite the mandatory requirement for meetings being held at least once a year stipulated under the Co-operatives Act, was marred by ignorance, suspicions, and a palpable sense of frustrations on the part of some members who have not yet physically identified their plots to-date, despite paper allocations for the same, over two decades ago.

Angry members were confronted with the prospect of losing their plots upon reading a Resolution, contained in the minutes of the June 9, 2012 meeting circulated moments earlier, stipulating that any members with plots but, who would not have paid for the Title Deeds by September of that year, risked loosing their plots to other members who had been dispossessed over the Kirutai squatter problem.

The Special General Meeting held in 2012 had been called to seek members’ approval to re-survey the plots after a similar exercise carried out by a Mr. Machogu, a Civil Servant, was largely discredited, leading to bad blood between the Society officials and the surveyor.

Whereas some plots are said to have encroached on the Railway reserves, some individuals have put up condemned illegal structures which fall within areas reserved for roads.

Among some of the sore points pending discussion is the vexing issue of the Kirutai squatters whose original numbers appear to have trebled over the years, and whose financial compensation has eluded the Society since inception due to lack of alternative land, as well as, funds.

On a positive note, however, the Executive Committee alluded not only to the 800 title deeds so far issued to members, with over 200 still under process but, also, to some 24 kilometers of roads that have been established within the scheme.Besides these, the Society anticipates payments, to the tune of Kshs 14 million, as compensation from the Standard Gauge Railway that has travesed some of its small plots at Ikanga, near Travelers Inn.

The Society was once led by its founding Chairman the late Edward Maghanga who, incidentally, was also the Chairman of Voi Town Council between 1981 and 1990. He was replaced by Madam Joan Nyasi Mjomba, who also served as Voi City Mayor between 1992 and 1997.

Although an investor invited by the officials, Hippo Dam Estates Limited CEO Mr. Hassan Omar Abdnassir’s presence and contribution might truly have been the icing on the Vindo cake at the meeting’s end, had the deliberations not been derailed, he, nevertheless, was allowed to make a frantic pitch for his visionary plans for the 5,000 acre scheme that includes a Shopping Mall and a lake, even as the crowd thinned out of the Hall.

Duncan Mwanyumba
Voi City, Sunday, May 31, 2015

Duncan Mwanyumba is a practicing Advocate of the High Court of Kenya based in Voi City, Coast Province of Kenya, a cultural enthusiast, and a member of the Rotary Club of Voi.