A small-holder dairy farmer has filed a petition in the High Court seeking the removal of New KCC Board chairman, Eliud Matu Wamae, on grounds that the President violated Article 234 of the Constitution by acting beyond the powers that have been donated to him and delimited by Article 132 of the supreme law.
In the petition, filed by MMC Africa Law, Stanley Ngugi Kinuthia, pleads that the presidential appointment of the 79-year old Chairman breached the principles of good corporate governance. It argues that the appointee has been continuously re-appointed to the same post for over 14 years now since 2003 against the Mwongozo Code of Corporate Governance.
“The Mwongozo Code caps such re-appointments to one term of three years renewable only once upon a satisfactory performance evaluation,” according to MMC Africa Law.
The case is reminiscent of a similar case filed last year against the extension of the term of Mr. Ben Chumo as the KPLC CEO. In the case, the Employment and Labour Relations court agreed that Chumo’s tenure was “irregularly being extended” and issued an injunction terminating Chumo’s tenure at KPLC.
The petition drawn by MMC Africa Law this week seeks to protect hapless dairy farmers. Mr Kinuthia expressively feels that the corporation is being run down since he is paid little if at all for the milk he has been supplying New KCC, and the payments are delayed for long periods of time.
He is also seeking for the Public Service Commission, PSC, to be declared to be in breach of its constitutional mandate by being reluctant to protest unconstitutional appointment to boards of State Corporations, a preserve of the commission.
In the petition, the farmer is calling for an open and competitive recruitment of suitable officers for State Corporations by the PSC especially for such a crucial positions as Chairmen of State Corporations and hopes that a qualified, youthful and top-notch professional will be appointed to steward the company back to profitability.
Wamae is a former member of parliament who was appointed to his current role after losing the 2002 elections by former President Mwai Kibaki. He has been continuously re-appointed to the same position despite the dire reports of the Auditor General Edward Ouko on the drastic state of affairs in New KCC. The company made a loss before taxation of Kshs 233,855,045.00 in 2013 resulting in negative earnings per share of KShs 4.28 and a loss of Kshs 66,858,214.00 in 2015 which also resulted in negative earnings per share of Kshs 1.22 for that year.
The Auditor General also noted fundamental issues emanating from the financial reports submitted to him by the Company and gave qualified opinions in 2014 and 2015. Mr Ouko noted the un-procedural purchase of an Exadata 1/8th Oracle Engineering System which led to a potential loss of over Kshs 181,163,925.00 based on the exchange rate of that day for breach of contract.