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Members demand urgent meeting at Kenya Farmers Association

By KARANJA NJOROGE, STEVE MKAWALE AND SILAH KOSKEI | August 7th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Shareholders of the troubled Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) want a special general meeting (SGM) convened to discuss the financial woes facing it.

Members were reacting to news that KFA, whose Sh500 million headquarters is lined up for sale over a Sh90 million debt, has not held an AGM for over a decade now.

Members outraged by the planned sale of the prime building in Nakuru town said most of the decisions taken over the last 13 years were done without its 50,000 shareholders being consulted.

"The registrar of companies and commissioner of co-operatives have a duty to ensure that KFA holds an SGM as decisions being made without the consent of shareholders or delegates including sale of its property are null and void," Edward Maina, a member, said.

A Government report on the inquiry into the financial and working conditions of KFA prepared in March and April 2003 noted that since the disputed elections of 1999, no further elections have been held in the association both for delegates and board of directors.

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Turbulent period

"Current delegates and board are in office illegally because they have overshot their term in office. The need for them to seek fresh mandate from members cannot be over-emphasised," the report stated.

KFA Nakuru Area Director Andrew Yatich said the organisation has been unable to hold an AGM since 2003 as it was busy reorganising itself after undergoing a turbulent period.

Mr Yatich and Managing Director Simon Cherogony moved to assure farmers that the headquarters would not be auctioned as they were in discussion with Barclays Bank of Kenya on how to settle the debt before the auction slated for next week.

"We have opened discussions with the bank and I am confident we will sort out the issues before the auction date," said Mr Cherogony, adding that they have already paid the bank Sh272 million.

KFA MD Simon Cherogony who has assured that the building will not be sold.

(PHOTO:BONIFACE THUKU)

The association that was vibrant in the 1970s and 80s in supplying farmers with affordable farm inputs, owed the bank Sh362.5 million that had accumulated over the years.

It was forced to sell some of its non-core assets to offset close to Sh1 billion it owed various suppliers, financial institution, state corporations and workers.

Yesterday, Cherogony said if the bank fails to listen to them they would have no other options but to stop the sale through the court.

"We have had a cordial relationship with financial institutions that KFA owed millions of shillings. The management of Barclays Bank should listen to us because we have settled a substantial amount of the loan," he said.

Cherogony said the association was in the process of holding an annual general meeting and that a consultancy firm hired to re-organise the institution was in the process of verifying members register.

"Our revival plan in still on course and we are in the process of writing to the Attorney General to seek consent for the AGM, which most members have been pushing for since 2003," he said.

Kipkorir Menjo, a director, blamed the Lands ministry for the slow pace in renewal of leases and provision of titles for assets that would have been used in settling the bank debt.


Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) Barclays Bank of Kenya Simon Cherogony Andrew Yatich
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