Home Latest NewsCrime & Investigations KNCCI Woes: Besieged Chairman Ngatia And Errand Boy Kimani Frogmarched To Court

KNCCI Woes: Besieged Chairman Ngatia And Errand Boy Kimani Frogmarched To Court

by Musa Abdirahman

The kitchen continues to get water with calls for transparency, honesty and accountability keep steaming the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Nairobi County’s chapter.

Moments after a local publisher exposed the story of how the chamber’s chairman Geoffrey Kimani was cornered in illegalities in the office by firing all the appointed directors, sent all employees home for compulsory and brought in his set of loyalists, a step was made.

We’ve since realized that KNCCI engaged a damage control of the situation after we revealed that MasterCard had written a protest letter to the body demanding for a refund of their money earlier given and was misused, KNCCI instead on their website, uploaded a planted story claiming to have received again money from MasterCard.

The same story then also ran with it to the media and was posted by Business Daily, one wonders of the journalist did even bother to counter check if the event took place as claimed. Our sources at KNCCI say such an event didn’t take place, this was a damage control. MasterCard is still waiting for their money.

Still staying closely with questionable products, it was reported that Equity Bank had gotten into a partnership with KNCCI and set aside Sh200 billion for the chambers to access as part of the COVID-19 financial support for businesses. However, it turns out this was just a bluff and didn’t move beyond the cameras. It didn’t take off as Equity Bank being a partner with MasterCard had gotten wind of the misuse of funds by the chambers and took a long step back. There’s nothing to show that this loan hit the accounts, it didn’t, our courses confirm.

It has also emerged that the KNCCI financial books haven’t been audited since 2019 dealing a blow to the trust with potential investors and organizations giving grants to small businesses.

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In Nairobi chapter, Kimani is said to have shut down the windows for roving eyes blocking all efforts of auditing. In MasterCard case, it’s said while the beneficiaries were to strictly be members of the chamber and from Nairobi county, preliminary results showed some beneficiaries were outside the county. Only a forensic audit would reveal the extent of the alleged crime.

Kenya Insights has learnt that five directors from the Nairobi chamber whom were unceremoniously fired by Kimani, have taken him to court for illegal dismissal. Ngatia has also been taken to court for illegally appointing Kimani whom he handpicked from his social circle and made him the chairman. Ngatia previously held the same seat before ascending to national position. We’ve also been made aware that there have been attempts to throw out the complaint in vain.

Fed up with the rogue structures in the chamber, Jimnah Mbaru who held the position as chairman, resigned. Ngatia then moved quickly and installed Kimani as the chairman with complete disregard of the law.

Elected Board of Directors have had a difficult time working with Mr. Kimani who by the time of being appointed by the Chamber President to Chair, KNCCI Nairobi County, was not a fully paid up KNCCI Member for 2 Good years, 2019 and 2020.

As per the Chamber Constitution, you cannot hold office if you have not paid subscription for two years.

The KNCCI Constitution states that Co-option of Directors can only be done by the Board at County Level. 7 New Directors were Co-opted without the proper procedure being followed or vetting as per Constitution of KNCCI. Infact Three of the newly coopted Directors are not even fully paid up Members of the NAIROBI KNCCI.

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The Elected KNCCI NAIROBI 5 County Directors, tried to bring up the agenda in the Board Meetings severally however , the matter was shot down by the Acting Chairman Mr. Kimani supported by other Directors.

They further engaged the National Director in charge of NAIROBI County KNCCI to Intervene, and this was again shot down again.

Since, they were asking the 7 Co-opted Directors to be appointed from the current exciting Fully paid up list of Nairobi KNCCI members ,this was totally shot down by Mr. Kimani and the Same office.

The KNCCI Constitution is clear that Co-opted Directors should be appointed based on Professionalism, Gender and people with Disabilities. Priority should be given to current Nairobi County KNCCI Members.

This didn’t go well with the acting Chairman, Mr. Kimani as he had already proposed names to Chamber President, infact 3 who are not members of Nairobi KNCCI.

Since the Chamber Constitution, allows for a Complain, as this matter could not be handled in Nairobi County, where Mr. Kimani was an interested party, they raised the Complain officially with the National Dispute Resolution Committee KNCCI according to documents seen by Kenya Insights. They followed the laid down procedures in seeking an amicable solution to the problem within KNCCI Nairobi as per the Memorandum of Association.

After meeting the National Director in charge of NAIROBI KNCCI, they were asked by the Director, Nairobi County, Mr. Theuri to drop the Complain without any solution. They realized this was not going to help Nairobi KNCCI Members.

A Board Meeting of the newly Co-opted 7 Directors was called by the Acting Chairman Mr. Kimani and the agenda was to discuss the 5 elected Directors and vote them out. They refused to go for that Board Meeting as the 7 Directors were co-opted illegally, have no voting rights. They asked their Lawyer to write to Mr Kimani as the Acting Chairman to the effect that Nairobi KNCCI Board meeting was null and void as the new Directors had no powers to make decisions on behalf of KNCCI Nairobi Members.

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It has been established that Mr. Kimani as the Acting Chairman, is using Director, Jesse Muraya who is the Administrator of the Whatsapp KNCCI Nairobi County Group, and and other Co-opted Directors doctoring Board Meeting Minutes taken ealier to prove that the 7 Co-opted Directors were legally Co-opted and the 5 Directors consented. They also hatched a plan to change bank signatories but this was thwarted as bank demanded they bring the ousted directors to authenticate transfer of leadership. It’s not a brainer why he selfishly wanted the signatories changed to his loyalists.

Suspiciously, Ngatia by virtue of his office had written to the bank in a desperate effort to allow Kimani’s select directors to be authenticated as signatories. However the bank aware of the consequences, refused. Now Kimani is left with two options of either reconciling with the directors he fired for them to sign bank checks or he will be watching the money in the accounts without being able to do anything with it.

Kenya Insights has learnt that Nairobi County Chamber has been awarded 7million by Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) as a grant. “This is what they want eat, the money is coming into the account anytime this week.” An insider said to Kenya Insights. “He (Kimani) wants to swindle the money that’s why he didn’t want the vocal directors, he sent the whole staff on compulsory leave, he wants to eat everything by himself and his gang members, that’s why he plotted the coup.” Source said.

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