Ensuring Continued Existence: Cessation of Society under Section 14 of the Societies Act in Kenya

Section 14 of the Societies Act in Kenya provides a mechanism for the Registrar to address situations where there is reason to believe that a registered or exempted society has ceased to exist. The section outlines the steps the Registrar may take and the procedures involved.

Let’s explore the key provisions of Section 14.

Addressing Cessation of Existence (Subsection 1)

If the Registrar has reason to believe that a registered or exempted society has ceased to exist, he may initiate the process by publishing a notice in the Gazette.

The notice calls upon the society to provide proof of its continued existence within a period of three months from the date of the notice.

Cancellation or Rescission (Subsection 2)

If, at the end of the three-month period, the Registrar is satisfied that the society has indeed ceased to exist, he shall take appropriate action:

  • For a registered society, the Registrar shall cancel its registration.
  • For an exempted society, the Registrar shall rescind its exemption.

The Registrar is then required to publish a notice in the Gazette, officially communicating the cancellation or rescission.

Immediate Action without Notice (Subsection 3)

In cases where the Registrar is beyond doubt that a society has ceased to exist, he may immediately proceed without prior notice in the Gazette.

The provisions regarding cancellation or rescission and the subsequent publication of a notice in the Gazette still apply.

Significance and Proactive Approach

Registrar’s Authority:

Section 14 grants the Registrar the authority to proactively address situations where there are indications that a society may no longer be in existence.

Timely Verification:

The requirement for the society to furnish proof within a specified timeframe ensures a timely verification process.

Cancellation or Rescission Procedure:

The cancellation or rescission process, along with the subsequent publication of notices, maintains transparency and keeps stakeholders informed.


Section 14 of the Societies Act in Kenya demonstrates the legislative commitment to maintaining an accurate and up-to-date registry of societies.

By empowering the Registrar to take appropriate action when a society is believed to have ceased to exist, the Act ensures the continued relevance and reliability of the information within the regulatory framework governing societies in Kenya.