Court to rule on fate of 3 New KCC managers accused of corruption, nepotism

Court to rule on fate of 3 New KCC managers accused of corruption, nepotism

The fate of three senior managers of the New Kenya Cooperatives Creameries (KCC) now lies with the anti-corruption court which is set to rule whether they will be sent packing to allow for investigations into alleged mismanagement at the cooperation.

Justice John Onyiego will on May 8, 2019 rule whether Nixon Kipkemoi Sigey (Managing Director), Magdalene Muthoka (Chief Manager Human Resource) and Samuel Kamindu Ichura (Chief Manager Finance) will step aside to allow for investigations into corruption and nepotism accusations at KCC.

This follows a petition filed by former KCC Secretary Peter Kennedy Ombati, seeking to have the three declared unfit to hold office due to alleged corrupt dealings and nepotism.

Ombati, through his lawyer Wilberforce Khalwale, claims that while he worked at the State corporation he received complaints through whistle blowers of abuse of office, employment malpractice and corrupt practices being perpetrated by Sigey who is the Managing Director.

The three are also accused of irregularly transferring about Ksh. 475 million — which was employees’ insurance contributions — from Liberty life Assurance company to Britam. According to Ombati, the said transfer of the colossal amount without members’ consent amounted to corruption.

The petitioner further avers that Muthoka, who is the chief manager human resources and administration, was irregularly paid a sum of Ksh. 1.4 million as salary arrears.

He also claims that between August 3 and August 6t, 2017, Sigey defrauded New KCC Ksh.2.6 million by hiring a chopper which services were never rendered.

Ombati also wants the court to issue orders for investigations against the three senior managers.

He claims also that the MD is engaged in nepotism that saw him recruit and employ his relatives and close friends. According to the petitioner, out of 803 employees recruited, 322 came from the managing director’s ethnic region.

“He also discriminated some officers in that he upgraded some officers whilst others remained at the lower grade,” claims Ombati.

The petitioner alleges that he filed complaints with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Trade Cabinet Secretary and Inspectorate of State Corporation but nothing has been done yet.

He also wants an order requiring the Kenya National Audit Office to carry out an audit of the funds used by the three senior managers and those found to have misused public funds be held personally liable and surcharged accordingly.

He further wants the court to order EACC to conclude investigations against the three mangers with speed and within a time frame that the court may provide.

However, in a heated response, the three managers, through their counsel, asked the court to dismiss the suit saying it was premature as investigations had already began and are ongoing.

The state corporation also opposed the application saying it did not disclose the violations of the constitution.

“Petition is a none starter, misconceived and premature. It is a vendetta against interested party and its managers,” said Waweru Gatonye, representing New KCC.

Further Gatonye told the court that EACC is an independent body and as such, the court lacks jurisdiction in directing it to perform its duties.

EACC claims that it learnt about the complaints on February 15, 2016 while the petitioner became aware of the said issues on November 4, 2015 and he never reported them.

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