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New KCC boss to be selected next year

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – The board of directors of New Kenya Co-operatives creameries said on Friday it will appoint a new managing director by March 2010.

This comes after Cooperatives Minister Joseph Nyaga declined to renew the contract of former Managing Director Francis Mwangi, after his contact expired on November 30.

New KCC board Chairman Matu Wamae said the process of recruitment would begin soon with the advertisement of the position, where Mr Mwangi and other qualified Kenyans would be free to apply.

“We are going to get a selection personnel company to put up the advertisements, to give the board six names to work with,” Mr Wamae said.

He further said the board would evaluate six names presented to it, cut them down to three, which would be presented to the Cooperatives Minister for consideration, a process he believes could take three months.

Mr Wamae considers the Minister declined to renew the one-year extension handed to Mr Mwangi to pave way for the evaluation of his performance, which could see him get a further three years at the helm of the company.

“This is a complicated company and you need somebody for a good stretch of time so that his performance can be assessed and that whoever is chosen can achieve results,” he stressed.

The decision by the minister not renew Mr Mwangi’s contract has been met by sharp criticism from dairy farmers.

A section of dairy farmers in the country have appealed to Mr Nyaga to renew the contract.

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Kirinyaga Embu Meru Dairy Marketing Federation Chairman Hezekiah Nyaga told a press briefing farmers had confidence in Mr Mwangi as he’s helped stabilise milk prices and turned around the company into a profit making organisation.

“We feel that the minister should reconsider the contract for Mr Mwangi because he has proved to be a performer, he started at a loss of Sh8 million and he has raised KCC now to a company that made Sh500 million last year,” Mr Nyaga said.

Farmers are now earning an average of Sh27.50 per litre deliver to New KCC factories up from the Sh8 they used to get six years ago. Milk production has also gone up.

“In Runyenges plant we were producing only 14,000 kilo per day but now we are producing 38,000 to 40,000 litres per day,” said Mr Nyaga.

The former MD has also been credited with encouraging the formation of the dairy federations, which represent approximately one million farmers, providing milk coolers in all milk producing areas and other equipment such as milk cans.

Earlier this week, it emerged that the minister declined to renew the contract despite a recommendation from the Board of Director to extend it, putting him on a collision course with the farmers.

The officials threatened to mobilise other farmers to push for the return of Mr Mwangi whom their argued would help to ensure the smooth and transparent running of the intended New KCC privatisation.

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