Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Richard Ngatia faces a stiff challenge from his deputy, Dr. Eric Ruto who is looking to dethrone him at the chamber’s elections scheduled for June 8th.
The two competitors have been racing to secure endorsements from the chamber’s regional chapters ahead of the polls. Ngatia took over the KNCCCI presidency in 2019 in an uncontested election, after his opponents pulled out a month before the polls. He took over from Kiprono Kittony. Ruto was the first Vice-President. They have both been ramping up campaigns in recent weeks.
Ngatia has notably secured the backing of delegates from Central Kenya and the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB), which includes 14 counties. Ruto, on the other hand, has the support of delegates from Western and Rift Valley.
Ngatia has touted his record, stating that he has grown the chambers’ membership and visibility, promising to ensure businesses receive greater support. He has however been tainted by graft allegations which surfaced against his medical supplies company in the multi-billion shilling Covid Billionaires scandal. Ruto, on the other hand, promises closer relations with counties and the national government, stating that the chamber will look to sign agreements with the authorities to benefit businesses.
READ>Inside Aden Duale’s Hotels in Nairobi, Garissa
Ruto has picked Mombasa businessman Mustafa Ramadan as his running mate while Ngatia selected Abdulwalli Sharrif, a businessman with interests in construction and agriculture.
Whoever wins could be taking charge of a much more lucrative organization, as Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on Monday, May 22 confirmed that a proposed bill to be brought before the Cabinet within 30 days would seek to make it mandatory for all businesses operating in Kenya to join the chamber.
Currently, annual subscription fees for businesses in the chamber cost between Ksh5,000 and Ksh100,000 depending on the type of company.
READ MORE>How Much All Kenyan Businesses Will Pay in Moses Kuria Proposal