Matatu rift widens over Invesco

February 2, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – The rift between the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) and the Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) is continuing to widen over the acquisition of Invesco Assurance Company.

MWA chairman Dickson Mbugua maintains that the firm should pay all outstanding claims amounting to more than Sh600 million before its acquisition by the rival matatu association.

In an interview with Capital News, he also called into question the appointment of the new Invesco Assurance Company Chief Executive Officer.

“You cannot have a situation whereby a CEO who had managed a collapsed insurance is appointed as a statutory manager to make an assessment on the collapsed Invesco company and file his report back to Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA),” The MWA chairman alleged.

“Yes, he may have filed the report but it was also not tabled for the public consumption,” he added.

His MOA counterpart Simon Kimutai on the other hand accused MWA of being on a vendetta to undermine their role in the acquisition of Invesco.

“We want to urge the matatu fraternity to actually turn a deaf ear on this issue which id being politicised by the MWA. They do not understand it since they do not own vehicles,” Mr Kimutai stated.

“They keep on saying that first we should pay claims, but which is better, is it for a company which has died and cannot pay claims or for the one which has been given some oxygen so that it may pay genuine claims?” he posed.

Mr Mbugua however said that MWA was just looking out for the interests of stakeholders in the matatu industry.

Invesco has become the first matatu insurer to emerge from bankruptcy after almost three years under statutory management.

However, the Insurance Regulatory Authority Chief Executive, Sammy Makove, had said earlier that Invesco would deal with outstanding liabilities to policyholders and third parties upon verification of the authenticity of such claims.

Although the ownership structure of the new company has not been made public, the Matatu Owner Association is said to control at least 80 percent of the firm through an investment firm, Public Transport Investment Company, chaired by Simon Kimutai.

But Mr Mbugua has complained that he wasn’t aware who had contributed towards the purchase of the 80 percent stake in the company.

Mr Kimutai had said earlier that he was happy to receive the license while Mr Makove had confirmed that the insurer, under new management and ownership structure, had been issued a trading license.

Invesco was placed under a statutory manager on February 29, 2007 as it failed to pay claims.

But for the last 10 months, Matatu Owners Association and Invesco Assurance Company statutory manager Geoffrey Njenga has been working on a rescue plan for the insurer.


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