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Societies Act

This Act provides For The Process Of Registration And Regulations Guiding Societies In Kenya.

Under Section 2 of the Act-A society includes any club, company, partnership or other association comprising of more than ten members established in Kenya or having its headquarters in Kenya or the main place of business is Kenya.

However, the following shall NOT be considered as societies under the Act

· A Registered company under the companies Act

· A corporation

· Trade union

· Companies/associations/partnerships established to conduct business to make profit

· A co-operative society

· A school registered under the Education Act

· Board of governors, advisory councils, District Education Board, School Committees established in relation to education

· Building society

· Bank

· International organizations

When can a society be said to be established in Kenya?

Section 3 of the Act;

· If any of it officials or members resides or is present in Kenya

· If any person in Kenya manages or assists in the management of the society

· If any person in Kenya solicits or collects money or subscriptions on behalf of the society

When can a society be said not to be established in Kenya?

· Where its activities are wholly operated outside Kenya

· Where no office or place of business is maintained in Kenya either by the society or any person acting on its behalf

· Where there is no register of all or any of its members in Kenya

· Where no money or subscription is solicited or collected in Kenya by the society or any other person acting on its behalf

 

· The proposed names for search and approval

· The purposes of the society

· A minimum number of ten members of the society

· The names, occupation and postal addresses of the Chairperson, treasurer and secretary

· The proposed physical address of the society

· The proposed constitution of the society

· Form A contained in the schedule of the societies’ rules (application for registration of a society)

· Form B contained in the schedule of the societies’ rules (notification of registered office and address of the society)

 

  1. · Name search and approval- This is conducted to verify if the names suggested by members can be approved for registration. This also helps to avoid the use of names already adopted by other societies.
  2. · Drafting of the society constitution and filling relevant forms- The society is required to draft a constitution which presents the guidelines and regulations for the society. The members are also required to fill forms A and B mentioned above.
  3. · Presenting the Documents for Registration at the registrar of societies- The forms duly filled and the drafted constitution is presented to the registrar of societies. The prescribed fee is also paid at this stage. Kshs 2,000/=
  4. · Issuance of a certificate of registration- The registrar is to communicate his decision within 120 days of the receipt of application (sec 4(2)). Where the application is approved a certificate of registration is issued to the society. Where the application is denied, a notice of refusal is issued.

Section 11 of the Act

· Where he is satisfied that the society is a branch or connected to another organization/s of a political nature outside Kenya

· Where it is proved that any officer of the society was an officer of a society denied registration or whose registration was cancelled of suspended

· Where there is the belief that the objectives of the society are unlawful or likely to disrupt the peace and welfare of the country

· Where the minister has declared the society dangerous to the good government of the country

· Where the constitution or any rules of the society are deemed inconsistent or contrary to the law

· Where the application for registration does not meet the requirements under the law

· Where the society is proved not to exist

· Where the name of the society to be registered is; identical to another either duly registered or whose application for registration is denied/ nearly resembles the name of another society hindering differentiation/ the name is deemed unlawful

Schedule to the Act-S 19

· The name of the society

· The objectives of the society

· Membership qualifications

· Membership fees

· The procedure for suspension and expulsion of members

· Titles of officials, terms of office, method of their election, appointment, dismissal and suspension

· Committee membership, duration, method of election, appointment, dismissal and suspension

· Powers /roles of the committee and the procedure for filling vacancies

· The procedure for meetings in the society

· The management of the societies’ funds, assets and other investments

· Purposes of the funds raised by the society and the avoidance of the distribution of funds among members

· The inspection of books and list of members of the society

· The annual and periodic audit of accounts

· The management of society branches if any

· The procedure regarding the amendment of the society’s name, constitution or rules

· The procedure for dissolution of the society and disposal of the society’s assets

SECTION

OFFENCE

PENALTY

4(2)

Failure to apply for registration of a society or the exemption from registration

Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to a jail term below 6 months or both

5

Managing an unlawful society

· Person who manages

· Persons who assists in the management of the unlawful society

Liable to a fine below Kshs 10,000/= or to a jail term below 3years or to both

6

Being a member of an unlawful society

· One is a member or attends any meetings of the unlawful society

· Allows any meetings of the unlawful society or the members of the unlawful society in any premises which he occupies, possesses, or owns in which he exercises control

Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to a jail term below 1year

7(3)

Contravention of an order prohibiting the activities of an unlawful society

Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to a jail term below 6months or to both

12(5)

Furtherance of objectives upon suspension of registration

Silent-apply general penalty under section 42

Society is Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= and in addition every officer is liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to jail term below 6months or to both

 

16(4)

· Operating without having an office

· Operating without having a postal address

· Operating without having given notice of the situation of office or postal address

· Operating at a place where the office may have been removed without giving notice of the change of the situation

· Failure to give notice of change of postal address

Silent-apply general penalty under section 42

Society is Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= and in addition every officer is liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to jail term below 6months or to both

 

17

Failure to give notice of change of officers or title of office

Silent-apply general penalty under section 42

Society is Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= and in addition every officer is liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to jail term below 6months or to both

 

20

Failure to obtain the registrar’s consent by a registered society;

· Amendment of the societies’ name/constitution/rules

· Becoming a branch, associated/connected with an organization of a political nature outside Kenya

· Dissolving

Silent-apply general penalty under section 42

Society is Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= and in addition every officer is liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to jail term below 6months or to both

 

21

Failure to obtain the registrar’s consent by a an exempted society;

· Amendment of the exempted societies’ name/constitution/rules

· Becoming a branch, associated/connected with an organization of a political nature outside Kenya

· Dissolving

Silent-apply general penalty under section 42

Society is Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= and in addition every officer is liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to jail term below 6months or to both

 

24

Purporting to act as officer

Liable to a fine of Kshs 5,000/= or to a jail term below 6months or to both

25

Failure to keep the register of members

The society shall be liable to a fine below Kshs 10,000/=

Every officer shall be liable to a fine below Kshs 10,000 or to a jail term below 1year or to both

26

Failure to keep books of account

Silent-apply general penalty under section 42

Society is Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= and in addition every officer is liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to jail term below 6months or to both

 

27

Failure of the treasurer to render accounts

Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to a jail term below 6months

28

Obstructing the registrar in the inspection of accounts and documents

Liable to a fine below Kshs 1,000/= or to a jail term below 2months or both

30(3)

Failure to file annual returns

Silent-apply general penalty under section 42

Society is Liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= and in addition every officer is liable to a fine below Kshs 5,000/= or to jail term below 6months or to both

 

30(4)

Filing wrongful returns

· Any person who willfully makes, orders or causes or procures to made any false entry in or omission from any return, account or other document for purposes of filing returns

Liable to a fine below Kshs 10,000 or to a jail term below 1year or both

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