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Shock as Holy Family Basilica group learns of Sh10m fraud

Members of a self-help group at the Holy Family Basilica catholic church expressed shock during an Annual General Meeting (AGM) Sunday when they learnt that more than Sh10 million had been lost through fraud.

In a report from independent auditors, the members were told that they lost Sh10, 575, 533 between 2012 and 2014.

The saving grace, however, is that the fraud has not affected the operations of the group as adequate indemnity funds were available.

The mastermind of the fraud who was an employee of the group was suspended from duty alongside all the other staff in August 2014.

NEW MANAGEMENT

The rot at the self-help group, which was discovered after a new management committee took over office, prompted an audit which unveiled the loss of the money.

There was uproar when the members heard of the figure of the stolen money and called upon the incoming management to speed up the process of bringing the the culprits to justice.

They directed their lawyer Rosemary Kimwatu, who was present, not to relent in pursuing the former employees and the bank which proceeded to pay them despite the self-group having notified it that they were no longer employees.

In her address, the director of Caritas, a body of the Catholic Church mandated to oversee activities of all self-help groups in the church, Sister Mary Mbachu decried the unholy activities at the Basilica self-help group saying a repeat should never be allowed in any other branch.

She called on those who were elected to serve in the management committee to be transparent and serve members with humility.

POOR LEADERSHIP

She said it was unfortunate that Basilica members had suffered the loss which resulted from weak internal audit processes and poor leadership.

During the meeting, it was agreed that defaulters be pursued through the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) and their names circulated to members.

During the meeting, seven members namely Lillian Bosire, Joyce Mugure, Sebastian Mwangi, Patrick Mugo, Teresa Lumela, Felista Gathamba and Peter Njoroge were elected to join the management committee.

The seven would team up with five from the previous committee whose term had not elapsed.

During the meeting, members were told they would be paid 80 cents per share for 2011-2014 and Sh1 per share for 2014-2015.