Candidates jostle to succeed Kittony at helm of trade lobby

KNCCI Nairobi Chapter Chairman Richard Ngatia addresses delegates during an annual general meeting in Nairobi. [Courtesy]
The battle to succeed Kiprono Kittony at the helm of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) is taking shape.

Three candidates have declared an interest in the chairman’s position, which has since been renamed 'president' after broad amendments of the articles of association.

The positions of first and second deputy president have also been introduced.

Mr Kittony retired last Friday when KNCCI held its annual general meeting, paving the way for the new office-holders that will be elected after two rounds in March and April.

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He has headed the business lobby for two terms since his election in 2012.

Kittony’s parting shot was a request to the State to extend tax amnesties to small businesses and hasten the settlement of pending bills by the national and county governments. 

James Mureu, the outgoing national vice-chairman, will take on Richard Ngatia, who is the chairman of the Nairobi chapter.

Stephen Mbugua, who chairs the board committee on member recruitment and business development, will also be in the race to head the country’s biggest business lobby group.

Each of the contestants for the presidency was granted a platform to outline their manifestos at the AGM held in Nairobi with the common message of enhancing the business environment for traders.

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Mr Ngatia, a Nairobi-based businessman, told the delegates that he would wish to replicate the successes achieved in the city to all the 47 counties that include broader partnerships with the respective county governments.

Nationally, he said he would expect to revive the funding avenues that had left the KNCCI starved of resources that should enable its operations, including advocacy programmes and support for budding enterprises.

Presently, the chamber’s main source of revenue is levies on certificates of origin – the document given to exporters confirming where the goods are actually produced.

Charles Wako, the chairman of aviation firm Fly Sax, Julius Opiyo and Fatma El Maawy are among the candidates for the vice president position.

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Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and IndustryKNCCIbusiness lobby