Kakuzi board has named Nicholas Ng’ang’a the new chairman.
Mr Ng’ang’a takes over from Graham Mclean who stepped down from the role but will remain on as a non-executive director.
The agricultural firm has also set up an Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee (IHRAC) and an operational-level grievance mechanism to enhance its operations.
In a statement, Kakuzi Plc said IHRAC will enhance the governance structure. It will comprise experienced and distinguished individuals drawn from the human rights sector locally and internationally and representatives of its stakeholders.
Among those that will sit on the committee is Andrew Njoroge, an independent director.
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Kakuzi is also ramping up its internal dispute resolution process by setting up the operational-level grievance mechanism, which the company says will ensure grievances of the community are heard and resolved quickly and impartially in accordance with international best practices.
“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,” the management said.
The company is facing 79 claims in the United Kingdom of alleged negligence in failing to prevent abuse from former employees and locals.
Ng’ang’a retired from Safaricom earlier this year after 13 years and is also the chairman of Car & General Kenya Limited and G4S Security.
In his inaugural address to the board, he commended the new initiatives, terming them an important step in the company’s evolution.
The new chairman said the company will strive to ensure corporate policies and human rights processes evolve to accommodate feedback and input from employees, communities and other stakeholders.
“The IHRAC and the operational-level grievance mechanism are significant enhancements to Kakuzi’s governance processes. They underscore our determination to take a ‘belt and braces’ approach to human rights,” he said.
Agricultural economist John Kibunga Kimani has also been appointed a non-executive director.
Ngang’a described Dr Kimani as a valuable addition to the Kakuzi board.
“He 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,” he said.