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Nzoia workers camp overnight to stop ex MD from taking office.

BUSINESS
By TITUS OTEBA | August 3rd 2015

NZOIA, KENYA: Workers and disgruntled union members of Nzoia Sugar camped at the Company compound Monday night to stop immediate former Managing Director Saul Wasilwa from assuming office after a court order reinstating him.

Led by the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation branch Secretary Macdonald Wamocho said that they will not allow Wasilwa to assume office after allegedly running down the factory and frustrating many workers during his tenure as the MD.

Wamocho said that they are aggrieved by the loss of Sh1.2 billion between 2012 and 2013 and Sh2.2 billion between 2013-2014 which in turn led to Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) denying workers the salary increment.

"We cannot allow him here, he ruled us with the iron fist which led many workers to suffer, we have slept here and have kept everything in place, if he forces his way here we will burn this factory so that he doesn't have a place to stay," said Wamocho.

The Union also accused Mr.Wasilwa of non-remittance of workers bank loans and other welfare associations which led to banks auctioning the workers houses and house hold items.

Wamocho said that the board Chairman Mr.Joash Wamang'oli and the acting MD Godfrey Wanyonyi had arrived at the firm and were holed up in a meeting to decide Wasilwa's fate.

"Last year the ex MD promised some workers that the management would settle their payments once the factory is operational but to our disappointment he did not leave up to the promise causing workers to be penalised by banks and blacklisted," he said.

Wamocho noted that the workers were unable to pay school fees and other undertakings in the welfare associations while known contractors and suppliers were paid at the expense of workers.

Wasilwa who was reinstated on Wednesday by a Milimani law court in Nairobi after disgruntled farmers sued him when his tenure was extended for six months by Agriculture Principal Secretary Sicily Kariuki was accused by the union of not promoting deserving workers even after promising to do so in 2012.

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