By Duncan Mlanjira
Housing Investment and Development Cooperative (HIDCO) has made tremendous growth in just a year of its existence and has since aligned itself strategically by making several management changes and appointments.
Its membership has grown from 31 in December 2019 to 53 in August 2020 while shares have more than doubled from K26 million to over K63 million.
Its assets have also grown from K42 million to K116 million while net profit has grown from K14 million to K35 million and it expects to make a net profit of around K50 million by the end of the year.
HIDCO has now decided to hire Robert Mbeza, who was serving as chairperson its Board of Directors, to become its first managing director.
Mbeza was instrumental in the establishment of this first housing cooperative beginning with member education, training of the members and leaders, registration of the cooperative, setting up the operational systems — including accounting and administration.
The Board, after going through the recruitment process with rigor to ensure transparency and due diligence which took almost three months to make the final decision and appointment, found Mbeza as the perfect fit for the position of managing director.
“With its growth in just over two years of operations, HIDCO is expected to be a household name in the area of housing and property development,” Mbeza said.
He doesn’t need any introduction in the cooperative sector, having been introduced to financial cooperatives back in 1983 and been involved with all areas of cooperative development.
He has served as chairperson of four Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) and as a financial cooperative development specialist having worked at the Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperative (MUSCCO) for 12 years.
At MUSCCO he served first as a development officer before being promoted to business development manager and at one point acted as its chief executive officer (CEO) for one year.
He also has served two years as a SACCO operations and restructuring manager of the World Council of Credit Union (WOCCU) in Kisumu Kenya and seven years as Cooperative Banks and Cooperative Financial Institutions’ development specialist.
He also worked in South Africa where he served for four years as a director of capacity building and information and three years as its managing director.
He has also been employed inside a Credit Union in Michigan, USA for two and a half years as a microfilm associate and administrative analyst.
With this vast experience, in Malawi, USA, Kenya and South Africa, specializing in financial cooperatives, Mbeza has been utilized by the Pan-African confederation of national associations of savings and credit cooperatives societies — the African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) and WOCCU.
For ACCOSCA, he has been used as a trainer, speaker and facilitator for its Annual Conferences and Training Programmes between 2008 to 2016.
In a statement, the HIDCO Board says it is very proud to have a seasoned cooperative development specialist as its first managing director and are looking forward to growth, development and continued sustainability of the organization.
“The moving of Robert into management necessitated changes in the Board that has seen vice-chairperson John Pangani replacing Robert as chairperson,” says the statement.
“Pangani has been instrumental in the growth of membership in the USA, UK including Malawi and had been part and parcel of recruitment of new members.
“In the US, he was instrumental in the establishment of a group of members of HIDCO residing in the US and UK called ‘US Malimana’, which is responsible for member recruitment and education, mobilization of membership and monthly contributions to HIDCO.”
The statement further says Pangani has worked tirelessly by ensuring all the committees are performing their duties and responsibilities including the establishment of the secretariat and was, “therefore, the natural fit for the position of chairperson”.
“In view of the growth that HIDCO is experiencing and the volume of work in the organisation, the Board decided to increase the number of board members to include Dr. Andrew Likaka as vice-chairperson replacing John Pangani and Dr. Kondwani Precious Mwangala as a Board member.
Likaka — a medical doctor — is global health specialist working with the Ministry of Health in Malawi as director of Quality Management and Digital Health.
“He is a charismatic health quality improvement advisor, a visionary and goal-oriented leader — who maintains close relationships with external stakeholders, government sectors and clients.
“He brings to the board strong strategic leadership and coordination, expertise in strategic planning, evaluation and decision making having been involved in a number of board positions in various organizations.”
Of Dr. Mwangala, HIDCO says he is a business development professional and change management expert having worked in the NGO sector since 2001. He holds a PhD is Change Management.
“He brings to the board experience and expertise in strategic planning, development of fundraising strategies and annual fundraising/resource mobilization business plans for both developmental and emergency programming.
“He is also an expert in donor engagement, networking and resource mobilization; program design, development and management; community mobilization and organization as well as public-private partnerships and branding/marketing,” says the statement.
HIDCO offices are at House No. 240, Malingunde Road, Area 47 Sector 5 and its physical address is P.O. Box 1996, Lilongwe. Its website is www.hidcomw.com; email is email@example.com and can also be contacted on +265 998 351 313.