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Protracted wrangles at KNCCI end

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 7- The long-drawn leadership wrangles at the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) appear to have ended after the three warring factions agreed to work together.

This comes after the groups withdrew court cases filed at the High Court and agreed to form a new consensus board to run the chamber.

Under the harmonised agreement, Kiprono Kittony will head the board of 21 members, which was registered by the Registrar of Companies on December 24, 2010.

Briefing the media on the latest developments, Mr Kittony said the board’s immediate function would be to spearhead reforms with the facilitation of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, which was appointed by the Ministry of Trade to return it normalcy.

“The new Chamber board is expected to ensure that all branches are aligned and restructured,” Mr Kittony said.

The board is also expected to amend the Chamber’s constitution, which has been blamed for creating a leadership vacuum at the helm of the organisation.

“The current Constitution has many loopholes and gaps in it that have in the past encouraged wrangling and instability,” he said.

Trouble is said to have begun in 1998 when the Articles of Association was amended to allow the management committee to instruct the Chief Executive Officer on day-to-day running functions of the chamber.

During the period, Kenya is said to have lost out on lucrative investment opportunities due to a poorly coordinated information pool within the public and private sector agencies.

The new board is also going to hold fresh elections for the chamber branches, with the new chairman underlining that only ‘bona fide business people are recruited as members’.

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The chamber will however face stiff competition in attracting and coordinating investment in the country with the emergence of institutions such as the Kenya Association of Manufacturer and the Investment Promotion Council, which have been playing a major role in investment.

It will also face a tough time sourcing funding, but it has already appealed to the Ministry of Trade to facilitate funding to the institution.

Kenya’s economy is expected to grow at between 5.5 and 6 percent this year.

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