16 July 2018

Kenya: Drama as Mumias Sugar Boss Reports to Work Despite Suspension

Confusion over the suspension of Mumias Sugar Company chief executive Nashon Aseka deepened Monday morning after he showed up at the factory saying he was reporting back to work.

Mr Aseka is then said to have been forcibly ejected from the firm's premises by security personnel on grounds that his presence there was illegal.

The development at the struggling miller comes amid reports that the board has terminated the CEO's contract.

He says he has obtained a court order stopping the board from taking any further disciplinary action against him until his filing before the Employment and Labour Relations court in Kisumu is heard and determined.

Mr Aseka said a security officer at the factory had called to inform him to pick his termination letter on July 10. However, he claims he has obtained a court order blocking the firm's management from sacking him.

"I have not been served with the letter although I hear my contract has been terminated. I have served the management with court orders blocking my suspension from duty," he said.

'Dubious deals'

The board of Mumias Sugar suspended the CEO on June 5, 2018, just a year after he took over the helm.

In a press statement signed by board chair Kennedy Ngumbau, the troubled firm said the decision was made to pave way for investigations into alleged dubious transactions at the sugar miller.

Mr Ngumbau, however, could not be reached to confirm Mr Aseka's claims of termination of employment.

Mr Patrick Chebosi, the head of agriculture at the company, was appointed to serve in an acting capacity until further notice.

At the time, the board said the decision was reached after dubious transactions were entered into without following due process and requisite approvals.

However, Mr Aseka moved to court arguing his suspension was unprocedural.

"I can see management officials arguing that the court order has been overtaken by events but that is subject to interpretation by the court," said Mr Aseka.

Mr Chebosi was unavailable for comment and was reported to be away from office. A source said he may have accompanied Mr Ngumbau who travelled abroad on official duty.

Security officers turned away journalists who had gone to the premises to seek comment from management on the matter.

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