Former Uchumi Supermarket directors barred from office, ordered back to class

Former CEO Dr Jonathan Ciano. PHOTO: FILE

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has banished former Uchumi directors from the boardrooms of public listed firms, and asked some of them to attend classes on governance to qualify to be directors.

In a statement sent to newsrooms yesterday, the CMA said former Uchumi CEO Dr Jonathan Ciano will stay in the cold for five years while former Finance Manager Chadwick Okumu will be out for two years.

During this period, Ciano and Okumu will not hold any position in a public listed company or any firm that has been approved by CMA.

In addition, Ciano has been slapped with a Sh5 million fine. He is also expected to refund the Sh13.5 million earnings he made from Uchumi.

This is after CMA proved that he failed to disclose to the board that he had conflict of interest during his tenure on the board.

CMA said it will be reaching out to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) to also discipline the two. 

Former Uchumi chairperson Khadija Mire has been disqualified from holding office as a director and/or key officer of a public listed company for a period of two years. Ms Mire has also been disgorged of board allowances amounting to Sh1.77 million.

“Ms Mire was also directed to attend corporate governance training to be eligible for appointment as a director in a listed company in future,” said CMA.

James Murigu, a former director, will be out of the boardroom for one year and will also return Sh660,000 allowances he earned while on the board of Uchumi.

For Bartholomew Ragalo, another former director, CMA has disgorged board allowances of Sh855,000 he earned in two years to 2015.

 CMA has issued a cautionary message to any firm that may want to engage Ragalo in its affairs and recommended that he goes back for training.

“Mr Ragalo has been directed to attend corporate governance training to be eligible for appointment as a director in a listed company in future,” said CMA.

“The hearings for two former directors remain pending while the external auditors, Ernst & Young, have obtained a court order to bar the due process proceedings which is being contested by the authority,” said CMA.

Faida Investment Bank, the lead transaction advisor during the Uchumi Supermarket rights issue and which has been accused of misleading investors, will not be allowed to carry any transaction advisory services for at least six months.

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