If any dispute concerning the business of a co-operative society arises—
(a) among members, past members and persons claiming through members, past members and deceased members; or
(b) between members, past members or deceased members, and the society, its Committee or any officer of the society; or
(c) between the society and any other co-operative society, it shall be referred to the Tribunal.
(2) A dispute for the purpose of this section shall include—
(a) a claim by a co-operative society for any debt or demand due to it from a member or past member, or from the nominee or personal representative of a deceased member, whether such debt or demand is admitted or not; or
(b) a claim by a member, past member or the nominee or personal representative of a deceased member for any debt or demand due from a co-operative society, whether such debt or demand is admitted or not;
(c) a claim by a Sacco society against a refusal to grant or a revocation of licence or any other due, from the Authority.
Establishment of the Tribunal
(1) There is hereby established a tribunal to be known as the Co-operative Tribunal which shall consist of the following members—
(a) a chairman and deputy chairman appointed by the Minister on the nomination of the Judicial Service Commission;
(b) an advocate of the High Court of Kenya appointed by the Minister on the nomination of the Law Society of Kenya;
(c) a lawyer with experience in co-operative law appointed by the Minister; and
(d) three persons with at least ten years experience in the field of cooperative management and practice appointed by the Minister in consultation with the apex society.
No person shall be qualified for appointment as chairman or deputy chairman of the Tribunal unless he holds, and has held for a total period of not less than five years, the qualifications specified in sections 12 and 13 of the
Advocates Act (Cap. 16).
All appointments to the Tribunal shall be by notice in the Gazette issued by the Minister and shall be for a period of three years, provided that no one shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.
The office of a member of the Tribunal shall become vacant—
(a) if he accepts any office the holding of which, if he were not a member of the Tribunal, would make him ineligible for the appointment to office of a member of the Tribunal;
(b) if he is removed from membership of the Tribunal by the Minister after due inquiry for failure to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or from any other cause) or for misconduct; or
if he fails to attend three consecutive sittings of the Tribunal without reasonable cause.
Proceedings of Tribunal
The Tribunal shall not be bound by the rules of evidence.
The Tribunal shall, upon an application made to it in writing by any party or a reference made to it by the Commissioner or any Committee or officer of a co-operative society on any matter relating to this Act, the rules made thereunder or the by-laws of the society, inquire into the matter and make an award thereon, and every award made shall be notified by the Tribunal to the parties concerned.
The Tribunal shall sit at such times and in such places as it may decide.
The proceedings of the Tribunal shall be open to the public save where the Tribunal, for good cause, otherwise directs.
Except as expressly provided in this Act or any rules made thereunder, the Tribunal shall regulate its own procedure.
Award of Tribunal
The Tribunal may—
(a) make such orders for the purposes of securing the attendance of any person at any place, the discovery or production of any document or the investigation of contravention of this Act as it deems necessary or expedient;
(b) take evidence on oath and may for that purpose administer oaths; or
(c) on its own motion summon and hear any person as a witness.
Any person who—
(a) fails to attend to the Tribunal after having been required to do so under subsection (1)(a);
(b) refuses to take oath before the Tribunal or to answer satisfactorily to the best of his knowledge and belief any question lawfully put to him in any proceedings before the Tribunal or to produce any article or document when required to do so by the Tribunal;
(c) knowingly gives false evidence or information which he knows to be misleading;
(d) at any sitting of the Tribunal—
(i) wilfully insults any member or officer of the Tribunal; or
(ii) wilfully interrupts the proceedings or commits any contempt of the Tribunal, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
Where the Tribunal enters judgment in terms of the award together with costs, it shall issue a decree which shall be enforceable as a decree of a court.
If, after making an order, the Tribunal discovers that the order was based on a misrepresentation or a concealment of a material fact by either party to the dispute, the Tribunal may order the party guilty of the misrepresentation or concealment to pay the other party such sum as is, in the opinion of the Tribunal, sufficient compensation for any damage or loss suffered by the party as a result of the misrepresentation or concealment.
The Tribunal shall have unlimited geographical and pecuniary jurisdiction in matters of co-operative disputes.
Quorum for Tribunal
For the purposes of hearing and determining any cause or matter under this Act, the Chairman and two members of the Tribunal shall form a quorum: Provided that where for any reason either or both of the members is or are
not present for any part of the hearing, the jurisdiction of the Tribunal may be exercised by the Chairman, sitting either with one such member or alone as the case may be.
A member of the Tribunal who has a direct interest in any matter which is the subject of the proceedings before the Tribunal shall not take part in those proceedings.
Any matter considered by the Tribunal shall be decided by the votes of the majority of the members constituting the Tribunal and voting, and the person presiding shall have a casting as well as a deliberative vote:
Provided that any point of law arising in any proceedings before the Tribunal shall be reserved to, and pronounced upon, by the person presiding exclusively.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Chairman of the Tribunal acting alone shall have jurisdiction to deal with temporary injunctions.
Any power conferred or duty imposed by or under this Act on the Chairman may, unless a contrary intention appears, be exercised or performed by the Deputy Chairman of the Tribunal if—
(a) the Chairman is unable to exercise or perform that power or duty owing to illness or absence; the Chairman authorises the Deputy Chairman to exercise or perform that power or duty.