EAPCC board members seek reinstatement

EAPCC board members seek reinstatement
Published: 02 January 2012

Former directors of East African Portland Cement’s Board are seeking reinstatement following last week’s decision by Industrialisation Minister, Amason Kingi, to fire them, reports Business Daily Africa.

East African Portland Cement, Kenya’s second biggest cement producer in which the state has a major stake, is in turmoil following the sacking of a section of the Board of Directors and allegations of procurement flaws and improperly arranged tenders amounting to contracts worth approximately US$47.6m, according to government spokesmen.

“We have received overwhelming concerns on procurement and financial flaws at EAPCC,” Industrialisation Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho told The EastAfrican.

“We have to investigate and the board needed to be out for the one month up to end of January that the probe will take place” Industrialisation Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho told The EastAfrican.

It is reported that the board members were fired after they disagreed with the government’s view on the appointment of a supplier for a new kiln.

The authority of Mr Kingi to sack the Board and Managing Director Kephar Tande has also been called into question due to EAPCC’s complex shareholding structure. One school of thought is that the government shareholding (25.3 per cent) and the 27 per cent of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) should be combined since the workers pension scheme is a government sponsored body, giving Government of Kenya 52.3 per cent. This is a stance taken by government representatives at the board of EAPCC.

The opponents, largely NSSF and Lafarge (which holds 41 per cent) argue that they should be treated as separate entities, a stand that would mean the government will only command 25.3 per cent shareholding, denying it a controlling stake were it to combine its ownership with NSSF.

The High Court is expected to hear the case of the sacked board members on 5 January.