Commodities

Munya wades into Kenya Seed row

MUNYA

Agriculture Secretary Peter Munya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Agriculture Secretary Peter Munya has dismissed a virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) by a faction of Kenya Seed Company directors last week, saying there was no board of directors in place to have called one.
  • Last week, a team led by former Moi era chief executive officer Nathaniel Tum was said to have held a virtual AGM to discuss the replacement of current CEO Azariah Soi whose tenure is coming to an end.

Agriculture Secretary Peter Munya has dismissed a virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) by a faction of Kenya Seed Company directors last week, saying there was no board of directors in place to have called one.

Last week, a team led by former Moi era chief executive officer Nathaniel Tum was said to have held a virtual AGM to discuss the replacement of current CEO Azariah Soi whose tenure is coming to an end.

However, Mr Munya said the purported AGM was not recognised by the government and the ministry was in the process of putting up a board.

"The government was not aware of the said AGM. There is no board in place to have called for the meeting as we are currently in the process of constituting one," said Mr Munya. "For people who are engaging in wishful thinking and want to reap where they did not sow, this is not an opportunity and we will not give them the chance," he added.

The tenure of Mr Tum, who was appointed as a director to the firm by former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett in 2017, expired last year.

Mr Munya said he appointed an acting managing director Friday and that there was no vacuum in the company as his ministry was in the process of concluding the appointment of a board to run the company.

Mr Tum was controversially removed as CEO in 2003 following revelations that he had irregularly transferred ownership of the firm to the family of former President Daniel arap Moi.

He has over the past 17 years been fighting for control of Kenya Seed in a war centred on a 2001 share sale deal that effectively transferred the parastatal to private hands with minority State ownership.

The company's board during Mr Tum’s tenure issued nine million new shares to the public in 2001, in a deal major shareholder ADC said did not meet requirements for disposal of public assets. The latest pronouncement by th Agriculture minister will now open another battle front for the control of the state-owned parastatal.