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Court orders for new CEO, board at limping Chemelil sugar factory

 Signage outside Chemelil Sugar Company on the border of Nandi and Kisumu counties on October 3, 2021. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Struggling miller Chemelil Sugar factory is set to have a new chief executive after an industrial court in Kisumu declared the stay in office of the acting CEO and head of finance illegal.

In his judgment, Justice Stephen Radido stated that the continued stay in office of Gabriel Nyangweso, who is the acting CEO of Chemelil Sugar Company, and Emmanuel Ngara, who is the retired company's head of finance, is unlawful and unconstitutional.

According to the judge, the continued stay in office for the two is a violation of articles 10 and 232 of the Constitution and the Mwongozo Code of Governance.

"Nyangweso, the acting CEO since 2017 is in office unlawfully and contrary to the Mwongozo Code. Ngara, head of finance has been serving unlawfully and contrary to the provisions of the Mwongozo Code of Governance for State Corporations," the judgment read in part.

The development came after a petitioner, Caleb Gichana, successfully lodged an application to challenge the continued stay of the two officers at the helm of the miller's management.

 Tractors haul sugarcane to Chemelil Sugar Company in 2021. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

In the petition, Nyangweso, Ngara, the public service commission (PSC), State Corporation Advisory Committee, Agriculture CS, Chairman, Board of Directors Chemelil Sugar and Attorney General were listed as respondents.

The petitioner argued that the appointment of Nyangweso was unlawful because he had not been recruited under a competitive process as contemplated by the Mwongozo Code of Governance.

In his petition, Gichana sought for eight orders including an order for the court to quash all new appointments and promotion of senior managers, declaration of the duo's stay in office as illegal and for Agriculture CS to advertise the recruitment of a new board.

The court declined to issue orders on quashing all new appointments and promotion of senior managers, stating there was no evidence to prove there were new appointments.

Additionally, the court issued an order directing the Agriculture CS to ensure they place an advertisement for the recruitment of a new CEO for the sugar company, and to appoint or advertise for the recruitment of the Board of Directors for the company.

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