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Safaricom’s plan to name new CEO dashed by Collymore’s sudden death

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Safaricom had already settled on an outsider to replace Bob Collymore and was preparing to make the announcement but the plan was scuttled by his sudden death.

Insiders say the firm was going to unveil a new boss before the end of the month, and was preparing to lift the remaining hurdle of convincing the government to accept its candidate.

“That plan died with Bob. There was going to be a new CEO by the end of this month,” a source familiar with the succession intrigues said.

Should the firm fail to have its way, it could confirm Michael Joseph as its substantive chief executive in order to buy more time to deal with the succession headache.

Succession intrigues at the firm began last year after a board meeting at the head office in

Westlands.

Immediately the shortlist was finalised, the directors of the firm listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) started receiving calls.

Sources said the calls came from a State House operative, who was keen to “remind them” to stick to Kenya’s position on the matter.

Before the phone calls, the firm, the most profitable private company in East Africa, had narrowed down to potential successors and the directors were scheduled to vote on the most suitable candidate.

But the process was not entirely in line with an agreement Kenya had with the firm’s largest shareholder — United Kingdom’s Vodafone — on who was to have the final say when the time came to replace Mr Collymore.

The Safaricom board meets at least four times a year. Before each meeting, comprehensive board papers are prepared and circulated to all the directors for all substantive agenda items at least two weeks early.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans draw lessons from Bob Collymore’s low cost funeral

This allows them time to review board documents to facilitate effective discussions. The submissions and notification period may be waived should an urgent or critical matter arise within the two weeks before the meeting.

Before 2017, the appointment of the firm’s CEO and the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) was the preserve of Vodafone Group PLC, which owned a 40 per cent stake through Vodafone Kenya Limited (VKL), a company registered in Nairobi.

But in 2017, Vodafone wanted to sell 87.5 per cent of its shares to its South African subsidiary, Vodacom. This represents a 35 per cent stake in Safaricom. But the government of Kenya would have none of it.

It blocked the deal until the firm accepted to make some concessions on the ultimate decision making at the firm, given that, broken down and without combining their stakes, Vodacom would own 35 per cent, equal to what the Kenyan government held. Its parent would then be left with 5 per cent.

But that is not how companies work. In times of making decisions, parents and their subsidiaries are always treated as one entity, and this meant that the British firm still controlled the 40 per cent stake through South Africa.

But its shareholding structure remained the same in its books.

Vodafone Kenya Ltd remained with 40 per cent, remaining the top shareholder. The second is the government of Kenya, which owns 35 per cent, while thousands of retail and institutional investors listed at the NSE own the remaining 25 per cent.

READ ALSO:   Safaricom logo changes to grey shade in light of Bob Collymore’s death

Despite being a private company, Safaricom had become too important to the country’s

national security that the government wanted to make sure it had a say on important national interests. The National Treasury had already flagged its successful mobile money platform, M-Pesa, as a potential risk to the economy, if it collapsed or something were to happen to it.

But Vodafone was looking at a different set of risks, should the government have its way. Besides qualifications, the firm identified political risks as one of its major considerations in sourcing for its next chief executive.

Divisive politics have come with big risks to its business, and it needs to settle on a candidate seen as neutral, who will not be controlled by the State during elections. But desperate to sell, the Vodafone Group took a step back and reluctantly agreed to the conditions.

This set in motion some of the events that would see the company amend its articles of association at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September, 2017.

One of the changes ratified was to expound the definition of Vodafone Kenya Limited (VKL), to include its subsidiary or its holding company or any subsidiary of such a holding company, notwithstanding that VKL may change its name from time to time. It also made changes to its boardroom size. Unless and until determined by a special resolution of the company, the number of directors (excluding alternates) shall not be fewer than seven or more than 10. This includes the independent, non-executive directors who must be Kenyans.

READ ALSO:   “The late Bob Collymore bought me my first green suit” Jalang’o opens up!

Predominantly Kenyan character

However, it is the third amendment that will have the biggest bearing on who calls the final shot. The firm said that, for a number of important matters, among them the appointment of its CEO and chief finance officer, such a resolution would only pass if it got more than 75 per cent of directors’ votes. What this meant was that without the votes of the directors representing the Kenya government, it would be impossible for Vodacom to have its way on the board.

In another resolution that anticipated the latest developments, the company asked shareholders to allow the board of directors to appoint one of its members to the office of managing director or manager “for such period and on such terms and with such powers, and at such remuneration as they may think fit”.

This came in handy last week, when the firm appointed its former CEO, Mr Michael Joseph, who was serving on its board, to the position of interim chief executive.

The AGM also passed a resolution that the “directors shall encourage the retention of a predominantly Kenyan character in the senior management and executive committees of the company”. It also scrapped the position of the ‘deputy chairman’ and all references to the term in the company’s articles of association. Instead, it passed the amendment that the directors may elect a chairman for their meetings, who shall be a Kenyan, and determine the period for which they are to hold office.

Source:Daily Nation

Business

Here are the 100 best employers in Kenya listed in order of merit

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A new report released this week  by Brighter Monday lists top companies that have an all-round best environment to work for in Kenya.

The annual report titled, Best 100 Companies to Work For 2019, ranks Safaricom, East African Breweries, United Nations, Kenya Commercial Bank and Kenya Revenue Authority as the country’s best five companies to work for.

Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Electricity Generating Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Coca Cola and Kenya Airways complete the top 10 listing in the order.

The report stated that a total of 3,448 valid responses were used in the final analysis with data from two surveys – external and internal.

The external survey targeted the general public while the internal survey focused on employees working at numerous companies in Kenya – a majority aged between 25-35 and 18-24, live in Nairobi and hold a Bachelor’s degree.

WHAT MATTERS MOST

“Overall top five most ranked intrinsic traits that matter the most in a company are competitive pay package, job security, career growth, financially stable company and welfare benefits,” Brighter Monday CEO Emmanuel Mutuma said.

In determining the best 100 companies to work for, the survey looked at attributes that matter most to employees which include pride, culture, career growth, diversity, inclusion as well as competitive pay package.

READ ALSO:   “The late Bob Collymore bought me my first green suit” Jalang’o opens up!

According to the report, Kenyans aged between 25-35 are the happiest age group at work, followed by 18-24, although both age groups posed a high flight risk.

Below is the list of the Best 100 Companies to work for in 2019:

1. Safaricom
2. East African Breweries
3. United Nations
4. KCB Bank Limited
5. Kenya Revenue Authority
6. Kenya Pipeline Company
7. Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen)
8. PricewaterhouseCoopers
9. Coca Cola
10. Kenya Airways
11. Deloitte
12. Unilever
13. Kenya Power
14. Equity Bank
15. British American Tobacco
16. Centum Investment Company
17. Google
18. Kenya Ports Authority
19. Airtel
20. Britam Holdings Limited
21. Central Bank of Kenya
22. Nation Media Group
23. Royal Media Services
24. Bidco Africa
25. Toyota
26. CBA Kenya
27. Cytonn Investments
28. Bamburi Cement
29. Barclays
30. Kenya Red Cross
31. World Vision International
32. Standard Chartered
33. Brookside Dairy Limited
34. Andela Kenya
35. Kenya Medical Research Institute
36. Microsoft
37. Isuzu East Africa Limited
38. Kenya Bureau of Standards
39. Glaxosmithkline
40. Amref Health Africa
41. DHL
42. SportPesa
43. World Bank
44. Bonfire Adventures
45. IBM
46. Telkom Kenya
47. National Hospital Insurance Fund
48. Chandaria Industries
49. Jumia
50. EY
51. Cellulant Corporation
52. GE
53. Jubilee Insurance
54. UNICEF
55. USAID
56. Geothermal Development Company
57. Nestle
58. Oxfam
59. Oracle
60. CITI Bank
61. P&G
62. Davis & Shirtliff
63. Kenya Co-operative Creameries Ltd.
64. International Livestock Research Institute
65. Tuskys
66. CIC Insurance Group
67. The Nairobi Hospital
68. Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Ltd.
69. One Acre Fund
70. United Nations Environment Programme
71. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics
72. Total Kenya
73. Base Titanium Port Facility
74. Kenya Medical Supplies
75. Save the Children Kenya
76. Kenya Ports Authority
77. Naivas Limited
78. Bollore Logistics Kenya
79. Del Monte Kenya
80. NIC Bank Group
81. British High Commission
82. Kenya Electricity Transmission Company
83. Huawei
84. Plan International Kenya
85. Amiran Kenya Ltd.
86. DT Dobie
87. Kapa Oil Refineries Ltd.
88. Samsung
89. James Finlay
90. Vivo Energy Kenya
91. BBC
92. Carrefour Kenya
93. Liquid Telecom
94. ICEA General Insurance
95. Kenya Seed Company
96. Kenyatta National Hospital
97. Mabati Rolling Mills
98. Mombasa Cement
99. KALRO
100.KEPHIS

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Kenyan Gay Movie Screened at Milimani Courts for Judge

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Rafiki means friend in Swahili but in the LGBTQ+ circles, it is a litmus test that emboldens this community to mainstream or remain closeted in Kenya.

The Rafiki movie has been screened in major cities and events across the world but back home in Kenya, the Wanuri Kahiu production faces a gargantuan task to be accepted.

Despite Kenya being a conservative but horny country, those in the gay community cannot portray this in public due to the homophobia the country harbours.

Gay Movie at The Law Courts

On Thursday, Wanuri tweeted, “BEYOND EXCITED to be screening Rafiki in Kenya tomorrow at Milimani High Court!!! #FreedomOfExpression.”

She is pushing the boundaries and her tack with the courts could be the turning point for Kenya in regard to homosexuals and how they relate with each other in public.

Thereafter in a series of tweets, Wanuri explained why it was important for the event to happen.

 

 

“My film Rafiki will be screened in the Kenyan High Court,” she added saying that it was historic and “so important in the fight for Freedom of Opinion/ Freedom of Expression/ Freedom of the Media.”

The movie was screened in the Kenyan High Court in a first while still banned in the rest of the country.

READ ALSO:   Michael Joseph: Why I chose Bob to succeed me

However, for it to qualify for the Oscars shortlisting, it had to be watched locally and in a court ruling, Judge Wilfrida Okwany allowed the screening of the film for seven days to ‘willing adults’.

The ruling temporarily suspended the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) ban and the movie was screened.

In banning the movie, KFCB said the movie was seeking to legitimise lesbian romance.

Wanuri blames Kenyans over the ban saying that they did not advocate for it.

In her campaign which she pushes under the freedom of expression tenet, Wanuri may have succeeded in pushing her agenda by having the courts watch the movie.

She said, “When films, music, art is banned or censored it interferes with our constitutional rights to make and/ or watch the work we create. Rafiki screening in court allows the court to make a decision on IF there has been a breach of constitutional rights”

“Our wish is that Rafiki helps towards upholding the articles in our Bill of Rights as enshrined in our constitution,” she added.

In her updates, she hailed the feat: “So great to see LGBT+ 🏳️‍🌈 story here in Kenyan Court. Even if only as evidence as part of case. Every voice matters, every voice is important.”

READ ALSO:   EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Bob Collymore reveals what makes Safaricom successful

After the screening on Friday, she said the judge asked for a few paragraphs to be submitted based on the film. The arguments are to be heard on December 3.

Kenya Upholds Gay Sex Ban

In May this year, High Court judges Roselyn Aburili, Chacha Mwita and John Mativo ruled against gay sex in Kenya. With this, they upheld a law that makes same-sex affairs punishable by 14 years in jail.

The United Nations and rights activists criticized the ruling which is similar to 70 other countries around where same-sex relationships are a crime.

Justice Roselyn Aburili said, “We hereby decline the relief sought and dismiss the combined petition. We find that the impugned sections are not unconstitutional, accordingly the combined petitions have no merit.”

When President Barack Obama visited Kenya in April 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta told him that the gay rights agenda was a non-issue for Kenyans.

“We share a lot of things but gay issues are not among them. We cannot impose on people what they don’t accept,” Uhuru told Obama.

He added, “I want to be very clear, I will not engage in any subject that is not of any major importance to the people and the Republic of Kenya. This is not an issue of human rights, this is an issue of society, of our own base as a culture as a people regardless of which society you come from. This is not acceptable, this is not agreeable.”

READ ALSO:   Safaricom staff charged with attempting to defraud firm of Sh300m

Uhuru urged the Americans to respect the Kenyan society which rejected same-sex marriages.

-businesstoday.co.ke

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Kenya’s Filthy Rich and Politically Connected running Govt Agencies

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Kenya has become the butt of jokes (no pun intended!) as the country wastes away due to corruption overseen by those in the highest office in the land.

Despite the billions being wasted daily repaying loans that have benefited a few individuals, Kenyans, on the other hand, are languishing as those entrusted with making their lives better continue looting. The country has become a gangsters’ paradise.

Wambui Kibaki and Her Millions

The first agency that was established by an act of parliament to empower youth is the National Employment Authority which has become a fresh wound for job seekers who never seem to meet the criteria for securing a government job.

On Tuesday, Kenyans were up in arms after it became public that President Uhuru Kenyatta had appointed President Kibaki’s wife, Mary Wambui, as the Authority’s Chairperson.

For a term of three years, Wambui is expected to ensure that jobless Kenyans get opportunities and jobs that can alleviate their suffering.

Ironically, Wambui, a conservative and controversial millionaire does not need the job in the sense that she already has more than enough. But why would she take such a position? That is for the appointee and the appointing authority to explain to Kenyans.

 

 

Most other authorities are led by people whose only merit is being politically connected.

These include the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) whose leadership comprises of Eng Joseph Nakodony Nkadayo as the Chairman with Captain Gilbert Macharia Kibe as the Director-General. Nkadayo succeeded a political reject, Samuel Poghisio, who left the entity in 2017 after serving for 2 years.

READ ALSO:   Collymore to leave office as row erupts over successor

The other is Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) whose disappointing performance could only go to show the incompetence of those appointed.

Interestingly, the former long-serving head of civil service Francis Muthaura is the chairman of the tax collector. He was appointed for the position last year.

The Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) non-executive chairman is John Mati Munuve.

An interesting political reject serving on the SASRA board is former North Imenti MP Silas Muriuki Ruteere.

Muriuki is a teacher by profession with specialized training in Special Education.

Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) is chaired by Halima Abdillahi Shaiya who was fired from the Kenya Meat Commission in 2014.

A suspension letter presented in court showed that the KMC board was fired for breaching procurement rules, poor performance and failing to implement directors’ resolutions.

The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) is chaired by a relative to President Uhuru Kenyatta Victor R. Pratt. Pratt is the husband to Christine Wambui Kenyatta, now Kristina Pratt, who is Uhuru’s older sister.

A politician on the board of directors going by the information on the Authority’s website is politician Sammy Koech who is the MP for Konoin.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is chaired by Lt Gen (Rtd) Jackson Ndungu Waweru. He was appointed in 2016.

READ ALSO:   Wambui stood by Bob through good and trying periods

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is chaired by Eng Erastus Mwongera whose appointment was challenged in court. In the petition by Peter Tana, Mwongera’s appointment was in gross violation of the rule of law.

Tana said that is not suitable to serve in the capacity since he had already served two terms. The tenure at KeNHA is to end in March 2021.

Mwongera cannot discharge any official duties as KeNHA Chairperson until the hearing and determination of the petition.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is chaired by John Konchellah but the interesting twist is the political connections in the authority’s op management.

Rejects serving at NEMA include Agostinho Neto who was the Ndhiwa MP in a by-election in 2012 and re-elected in 2013.

The immediate former Tana River woman representative Halima Ware Duri also serves as a board member.

In March this year, the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) board appointments caused an uproar since the maximum number of 10 appointees was surpassed by 3 members.

The board is chaired by former MP Jackson Kiptanui.

And the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is chaired by another political appointee Retired Joseph R.E Kibwana.

Kibwana, who was the first Navy officer to occupy the office of the Chief of General Staff, oversaw the transition of power from President Daniel Moi to President Mwai Kibaki after the 2002 election.

The General has a chequered career having been among the first of 10 African officers and servicemen recruited to the Navy in 1964.

READ ALSO:   Safaricom logo changes to grey shade in light of Bob Collymore’s death

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is chaired by Isaac Awuondo.

In August, KAA announced the departure of its Managing Director/CEO Jonny Andersen, effective September 30, 2019.

“Jonny has been with the KAA since November 2016 opted not to renew his contract which was due to expire on November 21st 2019,” said a statement from the Authority.

James P.M. Ndegwa is the Chairman of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). Coming from among Kenya’s wealthiest families, his seat at the table is reserved.

Interestingly, Muthaura’s son Paul Murithi is the CEO. He was appointed on April 22, 2016 with the call backdated to January 2, 2016.

He is expected to leave CMA at the end of this year after serving for seven-and-a-half years.

Out of the 14 Authorities in Kenya, most of them have politicians who have lost in elections appointed as board members or chairs.

In a country where a majority of the youth are wasting away despite their academic qualifications, consecutive governments have consistently sidelined the youth in favour of the politically connected.

Only President Kibaki gave the youths a considerate treatment when he opened the system for youth self-employment. Kibaki’s time saw the country register the highest number of the motorbike industry jobs.

It is at this time that boda bodas became part and parcel of the Kenyan society.

-businesstoday.co.ke

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