The co-operative movement is mourning the loss of one of the most influential co-operative leaders in Africa, Stanley Charles Muchiri, who passed away on 6 October at the age of 72.
A former president of the International Co-operative Alliance’s regional office for Africa (ICA Africa), Mr Muchiri was first elected in 2003. Under his mandate, the ICA held its 2013 Global Conference and General Assembly in Cape Town. It was the first time in the organisation’s long history that the event was taking place on the continent, a decision welcomed by Mr Muchiri.
At the time of his death, he was attending the Ministerial Conference of ICA Africa. He had announced his retirement from the ICA board on 3 October and attended a celebratory dinner in his honour, where he delivered a speech about the African co-operative movement.
Mr Muchiri dedicated four decades to Kenya’s co-operative movement. He joined the movement as a general manager of Murang’s Farmers District Co-operative Union in 1974, which he helped grow to one of the most successful coffee co-operative unions in Kenya.
In 1986 he was elected as a director of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya. He served as vice chair of the bank from 1993 and chair from 1974, and stood down 2017 after reaching the retirement age. Since 2003, he was vice president of the International Co-operative Alliance.
In a statement announcing Mr Muchiri’s death, chair of the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, John Murugu, paid tribute to his legacy.
“We mourn the passing of an icon in the co-operative movement,” he said. “Mr Muchiri has been an outstanding champion and pillar of Kenya’s co-operative movement who he served for over four decades, since July 1974 when he joined Murang’a Farmers District Co-operative Union as general manager. His dedicated service to the movement saw him assume greater responsibilities to serve in leadership positions in nearly every key co-operative organisation in Kenya, in Africa and the world.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to Mr Muchiri’s family, friends and the co-operative.”
President of the ICA Africa, Japheth Magomere, praised Mr Muchiri for his role in helping to unite and strengthen the co-operative movement’s voice in Africa.
He said: “Mr Muchiri was an illustrious co-operator, who served the Alliance Africa for 14 years. He took the helm of this organisation in 2004 when the two sub regional offices of the then International Co-operative Alliance Africa were merged to form one continental office based in Nairobi.
“As we celebrate the life of a hero, the Alliance Africa extends heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of the late Mr Stanley Charles Muchiri. We join the family and friends in mourning a departed co-operative icon in Africa.”
Mr Muchiri is survived by wife Jerusha Muthoni, a son and four daughters.