The Star (Nairobi)

20 January 2014

Kenya: Coffee Unions Call for New KPCU Directors

A SECTION of coffee unions affiliated to the beleauguered Kenya Planters' Co-operative Union now want Industrialisation secretary Adan Mohamed to order grassroots elections to pave way for new directors.

The call comes after a new twist to the long standing Sh644 million debt the giant union owes Kenya Commercial Bank emerged on January 9, jeopardising the December 3 out of court deal to lift the October 2009 receivership status.

Under the deal, KCB was to be paid Sh100 million by January 3 but the directors of the KPCU failed to honour the agreement claiming title deeds to over Sh2 billion union assets could not be traced.

KCB argued that the deeds were never under its custody and reinstated Harveen Gadhoke of Deloitte Consulting Limited as statutory manager.

KPCU board chairperson William Gatei consequently obtained conservatory orders from the high court last week restraining the new receiver managers from taking charge at KPCU pending hearing of the case on January 27.

19 coffee unions from Kiambu county however want grassroots polls, they said, will elect delegates who will in turn vote in new directors under the KPCU's by-laws and memorandum and articles of association.

"The board currently in office was handpicked and they have no mandate to handle KPCU business or make decision on KPCU property," the unions said in their petition to Mohamed.

They nonetheless want a thorough audit of the KPCU assets to be undertaken and called on the National Lands Commission not authorise any of the KPCU land to be disposed off before the new office is in place.

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