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Kakuzi sets up a Human Rights Advisory Committee amid Claims of Abuse

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3- Agriculture firm Kakuzi has now set up an Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee to enhance its operations.

Kakuzi through statement a said this will comprise experienced and distinguished individuals drawn from the human rights sector locally and internationally and representatives of its stakeholders.

“Andrew Njoroge, a non-executive independent director of Kakuzi plc will sit on IHRAC,” the firm said in a statement.

The firm has also set up an operational-level grievance mechanism which will enable the members of the community to have their grievances heard and resolved quickly and impartially.

“It will also ensure that appropriate action is taken to deal with anyone who fails to live up to the standards Kakuzi plc expects of its employees,” it added.

The new changes at the agricultural firm has also seen the appointment of Nicholas Ng’ang’a as its board chair with immediate effect.

Ng’ang’a takes over from Graham Mclean who steps down from the role but will remain as a non-executive director to the board.

It also announced the appointment of Agricultural economist John Kibunga Kimani as a non-executive director to the board.

“Kimani knows Kakuzi well having grown up on the farm. He has an impressive and well-respected track record in the agricultural sector of this country which he built up working in private and public sector enterprises and projects,” Ng’ang’ a said.

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The changes in the company come at a time when the firm is currently facing 79 claims in the United Kingdom of alleged negligence in failing to prevent abuse from former employees and locals.

Among the allegations lodged in part by former Kakuzi employees, the company’s security guards have been accused of violations including killings, rape, attacks, and false imprisonments.

Kakuzi supplies other supermarkets in the UK with avocados including Sainsbury’s, Lidl, and Marks & Spencer.

The company operates a 54 square mile plantation in Murang’a County, employing an estimated 3000 persons and is a major grower of avocados, macadamia nuts, and pineapples.

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