Companies

Chemelil MD, finance manager sent home in corruption probe

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The Chemelil Sugar Company factory. FILE Photo | Tonny Omondi | NMG

Summary

  • Chemelil Sugar Company managing director, Gabriel Nyangweso, and finance manager Emmanuel Ngala have been sent on compulsory leave to pave the way for investigations into allegations of graft at the miller.
  • The two will stay out of office for 30 days after workers of the troubled company accused them of presiding over numerous cases of financial impropriety and accumulating salary arrears of close to Sh1 billion since 2017.

Chemelil Sugar Company managing director, Gabriel Nyangweso, and finance manager Emmanuel Ngala have been sent on compulsory leave to pave the way for investigations into allegations of graft at the miller.

The two will stay out of office for 30 days after workers of the troubled company accused them of presiding over numerous cases of financial impropriety and accumulating salary arrears of close to Sh1 billion since 2017.

The decision to bar them from office was reached after preliminary investigations conducted by Agriculture chief administrative secretary Anne Nyaga, acting Sugar Directorate head Willis Audi and two directors from the Agriculture and Food Authority.

The move to suspend the duo came after workers threatened to down their tools if they were allowed into the company. The workers last week clashed with farmers and transporters who expressed support for Mr Nyangweso’s administration.

According to Kenya Union of Sugarcane Plantation and Allied Workers (Kuspaw) general secretary Francis Wangara, the management has failed to reinstate full salaries despite an improved performance.

“This has seen an accumulation of 42 months’ salary arrears owed to employees by the company amounting to Sh875 million,” he said.

Based on the improvement in production as was witnessed in the financial year 2020/2021, noted Mr Wangara, the company milled a total of 412,000 tonnes of cane both from the outgrowers and the nucleus estate farms.

Kuspaw in its petition to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya pointed out that the management has failed to honour their pledges despite several meetings with the union.

On the other hand, the workers have accused the management of failing to remit statutory and loan deductions to banks and saccos as per existing memorandum of understanding between the company and the respective financial institutions.

The employees said they have since been registered with the credit reference bureaus for defaulting on their loans.