In order for a Chama to run smoothly, office bearers must be in place to steer the affairs of the Chama smoothly. Who are these? These are officials that you appoint immediately after setting up the Chama to take care of various aspects of the group. This exercise is normally done preferably on the first meeting or even the second one. These officials include; Chama leader, Treasurer and Secretary.
Some people take up these roles and do not really understand what is expected of them. In this article, we shall outline what is expected of you if you are one of the Chama office bearers.
The Chama leader plans, organizes and carries out responsibilities associated with leadership of the Chama. You are the model members will follow; attendance, a positive attitude and working with the members’ interests in mind are most important. What you need to do:
- Provide supportive leadership
- Establish a climate of enthusiasm, openness and concern. Follow up and listen.
- Make it clear that you are concerned and accessible. Seek input and explore alternatives before making important decisions.
- Preside over regular Chama meetings.
- Make sure that members of the Chama are attending meetings.
- Make sure each member paid his/her monthly contribution and confidentially contact members who have not paid contributions.
- Keep a file of all correspondence.
- Recruit and retain members
- Make sure all members are active and involved.
- Keep in mind that ongoing evaluation of Chama meetings and operation leads to continuous improvement in the club.
- Goals must be clear and attainable. In the end, your satisfaction will come from the knowledge that your Chama was active on all fronts and clearly improved during the year.
- Continuously monitor the Chama’s progress toward goal accomplishment
The treasurer’s job is in many ways the most important job in the Chama. The Chama treasurer is responsible for all of the Chama’s monies, both incoming and outgoing, and needs to keep accurate records. Here’s what is expected of a Chama treasurer.
- Collecting contributions – Collecting contributions is the job of a Chama treasurer. The job of collecting contributions is simple but requires good record-keeping. Treasurers should keep a list of people who have paid their contributions.
- Paying bills – One of the treasurer’s jobs is to pay bills for the Chama. The treasurer needs to record all bills paid and why they were paid in case further explanations are required later.
- Preparing a Budget – The budget is an essential document of a Chama. Though some Chamas prefer to plan an event and then find a way to fund it, doing so can cause a strain for the Chama. The Chama treasurer should insist on putting together a budget before beginning any event, trip or project for the Chama. The budget should include all expenses, even small copying and other administrative expenses.
- Reporting Financial Information – Chamas require a financial report from the Chama’s treasurer. This financial report should include the starting and ending balances of any accounts. Any money collected should be covered, and bills paid should be listed. The financial report should be easy to understand and the treasurer should be open to answering questions about it.
A Chama secretary is responsible for ensuring that all the affairs of the Chama are carried out in a smooth and transparent manner. While the responsibilities of a Chama secretary are often undermined, the fact is that a Chama secretary plays an important role in any Chama and extremely vital for its smooth functioning. The duties of a Chama secretary are:
- The Chama secretary has to make necessary arrangements for the Chama meetings. These include deciding the date, venue, time of the meeting and sending invitations to Chama members.
- One of the most important duties of a Chama secretary is to take down the minutes of a meeting. This includes noting down the important decisions or recommendations that came up in the meeting. The Chama secretary is also entrusted with keeping a record of the members who attended the meeting and those who were absent. After taking down the minutes of a meeting, a Chama secretary has to prepare a final draft, which needs to be sent to all the members.
- The Chama secretary has to monitor the members, volunteers and keep a check on the administration matters. For example if members require to have snacks or food after the monthly meeting, the Secretary should ensure that this is taken care of.
- The Chama secretary is responsible for preparing a roster which is to be followed by the members of the Chama. This includes ensuring that suitable dates are selected for carrying out important meetings.
If you aspire to be a Chama official, you should keep in mind that the position requires you to give your time and dedication, so you should weigh in all the options before taking this position.
Categorised in: chama constitution, chama management, Chama meetings, Chamas
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