The Star (Nairobi)

8 August 2012

Kenya: Troubled KPCU Owed Sh4.5 Billion

Troubled Kenya Planters Cooperative Union is owed Sh 4.5 billion by individuals including former MPs and private companies, documents tabled before a parliamentary committee reveal.

According to the grower's debtor's balance sheet as at August 31, 2009 and which is now before the committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives, the total debt stood at Sh4,527,403,729. Since then, only Sh12 million has been repaid.

The list was tabled before the Agriculture committee by 11 directors of the troubled union led by board chairman Kimathi Mutuerando. KPCU was placed under receivership in 2009 after it failed to service a debt of Sh656 million owned to the Kenya Commercial Bank. In the list of debtors, among the largest debtors are Kirime Kimwe Estate Ltd Sh586 million, Nando Ltd Sh452 million and Ngimu Farm Ltd Sh169 million.

Other private companies with huge debts are Kereti Estate Ltd Sh73 million, Muhoho M Kagondo Estate Sh72 million, JM Mugo Investment Co Ltd Sh35 million and Nyari House Ltd Sh20 million. Largest individual debtors include Mungai Robert Kinuthia Sh233 million, Esther Wairimu Karori Sh131 million, Lucia Mutuku Kuria Sh188 million and Saina William A Morogo Sh119 million.

Others topping the list of debtors are Magdalene W Miru Sh93 million, Margaret Wambui Njoroge Sh91 million, Mwangi Julius Macharia Sh81 million and Josephine Wandane Njoroge Sh80 million. Others include Pascarina W Miru Sh59 million, Samuel Kimotho Miru Sh25 million, and Thomas Gakunga Miru Sh23 million. Former lawmakers in the list include Wilberforce Kisiero Sh205,953, J Nyamweya Sh47,426 and late Elijah Mwangale Sh1,329.

Yesterday, MPs started debating a report on KPCU which was tabled on March 6 by the Agriculture committee. The report, among other things, recommends that the government injects a bailout package of Sh1.2 billion to revive KPCU. The committee has said the finances will enable the once giant and vibrant cooperative kickstart its operations and implement a business plan that will focus on revival of the coffee industry and better earnings for the farmers.

The committee has also proposed that each coffee farmer to contribute Sh1,000. The committee has taken a position that the receiver managers from Deloitte and Touché have failed to turn around the cooperative and should exit with KBC being forced to bear the costs. But even as the MPs debate the March report, the committee is already conducting fresh investigations touching on alleged money laundering amounting to over Sh 100 billion through the KPCU accounts.The committee is also investigating claims that KPCU assets are being sold at a throwaway price with funds raised being misappropriated. The committee also wants to establish who owes the KPCU money.

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