By Prudence Minayo
Afya Centre, or Afya Co-operative House, is the most important landmark building in the capital city besides Archives. The green building stands proudly at the heart of Nairobi and has been a point of reference to most newcomers in the city. The 21-storey building is home to several businesses that include banks, restaurants, clinics. It is also close to most long distance public vehicles terminuses, especially those going to the Western part of Kenya and Rift Valley.
WoK details the ownership of the iconic building.
Afya Centre Ownership
The building is owned by Afya Sacco members. It acts as the Headquarters of Afya Sacco Society and the front offices services activities of the Sacco (POSA). The Sacco also owns maisonettes located at Kamburu off Ngong road. They get money from renting out the maisonettes and the building which is paid as dividends to its members.
Afya Co-operative Savings and Credit Society was incorporated on 8th May 1971. It started with 30 members and now has over 30,000 members. Their primary objective is to promote a culture of accelerated monthly savings from members. It is through the savings that members can be given loans to do something productive.
According to their website, their operative principles include:
- Democratic control
- Open and voluntary membership
- Limited Interest on capital
- Co-operative education
- Proportional distribution of surplus
- Co-operative among Co-operatives
The giant Sacco was embroiled in a scandal from the end of 2019. By this time, the Sacco had accumulated assets amounting to Sh17 billion. Few publications claimed that top officials had been looting the Sacco.
In a 29th July 2020 Facebook post by Citizen Weekly, it was alleged that there was a vicious war emanating from corruption queries involving billions of shillings. The money was allegedly siphoned from the Sacco since 2018. This issue reportedly resulted in the involvement of Peter Munya, the then Cabinet Secretary in charge of Co-operatives.
This led to arrest of several members including the CEO Livingston Sakwa, who was later sacked. Citizen Weekly’s post elicited reactions from some netizens claiming to be members who were complaining about several issues. Some said they had requested for a loan and months down the line, the Sacco was yet to grant it.