By DAVID MUCHUI
With the skyrocketing cost of living and unaffordable bank interest on loans, people are devising ways of leveraging on the power of many to meet desired financial obligations.
In Meru, a group comprising of over 200 people from all walks of life has come together with the aim of each owning a house worth millions in the next five years.
Twigaire Community Investment Group, a Community based organization (CBO),has a membership of over 200 members who contribute Sh100 per day and the money is kept in a joint account for investment.
According to Mr Isaac Kinoti, the brainchild of the idea and the Patron of Twigaire Community Investment Group, the members have been able to pool over Sh600 thousand in two months.
“The group is purely an investment group on the agreed project and is not a welfare group. We saw that most people can afford Sh100 in a day and everyone has to contribute without fail. We give a grace period of 15 days after which you are removed from the group and lose your savings,” Kinoti explains.
He notes that many people have money but have challenges in saving up to accomplish any project that needs a lot of money.
“Saving money in a bank does not add so much value and borrowing loans can lead some people to more problems. Instead of saving the money and borrowing a loan on it, we have decided to consolidate it and invest in an income generating project. The income generating projects will help us meet our long-term goal,” he relates.
The Patron of the group says that every member is expected to contribute for one year an amount totaling to Sh36, 000 which will be ploughed into viable and agreed upon investments.
“The members have agreed to buy four one acre pieces of land this year where we will rear indigenous chicken. We intend to spend Sh300, 000 per acre and we have already started scouting for land. We will keep 800 Kienyeji chickens in every farm,” says an optimistic Kinoti.
The group has adopted a no debt principle to avert tussles within the group and for safety of their investments.
Besides investing, the group will be able to provide employment for some of their members who have shown interest in managing the four poultry farms.
“From the over 1600 chicken, we anticipate to be making close to Sh900 million in a month. After one year, the members will have their Sh36, 000 working for them and no more contribution will be needed.
In fact, the members can start earning dividends while the rest of the profit is ploughed back into the business,” he says confidently.
Own a house
Kinoti further reveals that in the fifth year, the group will be buying land which will be subdivided for sale and construction of houses for the members.
“In five years, we expect every member to own a house worth millions of shillings. We may opt to use cheaper prefabricated building technology to cut costs and time,” says Kinoti who is an investor in the hospitality industry in Meru.
The group members meet every weekend where they deliberate on the progress and submit records of their contributions which are done direct to the group bank account.
“The group leadership changes hands every month where members take over based on the registration list. Every member foots the bill for any group activity and only the bank is allowed to handle the money. A decision is binding if it is approved by 50 percent of the members,” he adds.
Kinoti says that the investment idea is an inspiration of his own financial experience and advice received from successful people in the society.
“Investing requires patience and discipline. I have managed to buy land and construct business premises without borrowing. However, it has taken me over 10 years and I am yet to finish up. The beauty of it all is that I owe no one,” Twigaire Group Patron asserts.
His advice to those seeking to make wealth is to do everything possible to ensure their money is at work. “You are either working to be a millionaire or working to make someone a millionaire,” he quips.
Kinoti who is also a radio presenter with a local radio station says that no one should despise their income no matter how low as it has potential to lift their lives if invested wisely.
To those who have dismissed the group as yet another pyramid scheme, he says the group is a way of making money work for its members.