Trans Nzoia Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) chapter has a new leadership after a truce was struck between two warring camps.
The branch has been dogged by leadership wrangles in the past six months after a group led by Benson Malesi moved to court to contest the outcome of the elections, which favoured Titus Kilong’i.
The conflict over the eligibility of the voting register led to the halt of the elections, enforced by a court injunction initiated by Malesi’s camp that challenged Kilong’is camp.
Before the elections were aborted, a dispute over the voter register had previously caused a postponement of the annual general meeting at the Kitale Museum. Malesi recently withdrew the suit, leading to a negotiated solution that saw the chamber’s electoral body strike a deal with the two teams agreeing to share slots.
“Kilong’i assumes the position of chairman, while Malesi will be a director in charge of finance,” said Benjamin Onkoba from the electoral board.
The new leadership expressed eagerness to promptly address business growth in the region, emphasising a shift from legal disputes to proactive efforts. “We lost a lot of time flexing muscles in court, missing out on many opportunities. We want to turn this around,” said Kilong’i.
Malesi called on traders to support KNCCI’s mandate for regional business growth. The chamber had navigated leadership challenges by extending the tenure of outgoing chairman Martin Waliaula, who steered affairs on an interim leadership basis.
Meanwhile, small-scale traders have called on the new leadership to engage in negotiations with the county government to establish markets with essential amenities.
Violet Musera, a vegetable vendor, urged the new leadership to address challenges faced by open-air market traders, citing limited access to water and restroom facilities. Additionally, traders are seeking expanded market linkages beyond Trans Nzoia, aiming for international opportunities with the support of the incoming chamber leadership.