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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 14 September 2014

NO END TO EAST AFRICA PORTLAND BOARDROOM SHENANIGANS



The boardroom war and jostling at East African Portland Cement Company to have the giant cement manufacturer carry out a detailed forensic audit to expose dirty dealings has heightened.
It is said that the forensic audit is targeting those at the helm of EAPCC during the Financial Year ending June 2013 such as departmental heads of finance and internal audit.

Surprisingly, even those behind the happenings at the firm that led to shareholders going without payment of dividends are still holding lucrative positions. Word has it that Deloittee & Touche, the newly engaged auditors for the firm in the year 2014 are under instructions to dig into the books of accounts and see if any impropriety took place.

Insiders at EAPCC board told Weekly Citizen that representatives from National Social Security Fund and the government and Treasury have been not comfortable with on-goings at EAPCC. During shareholders talks in December last year, tempers flared among the shareholders with many questioning a report prepared by Ernst and Young who were the external auditors.

Not left out is the office of the Auditor General who is tasked for auditing government institutions. EAPCC has been at war with Capital Markets Authority which suspended dividend payments.

The war at EAPCC saw the removal of Mark Ole Karbolo as the chairman of the firm. Insiders well versed with the happenings say the Jubilee government has a soft spot for former CMC chief executive, Bill Lay, who replaced Karbolo as chairman and now want a new team allied to him in place.

It is imperative to note that its president Uhuru Kenyatta who appointed Lay to be the chairman. The removal of Karbolo in January this year had according to those scheming to bring a new team left the MD Kephar Tande vulnerable but a clean audit report saved his skin and his contract was renewed for another three years. It seems they are still determined though.

Sources within the board say the move to hire accounts forensic auditor to unearth ill happenings if any is aimed at bundling out Tande from the office.
Sometimes back, CMA suspended a payout to shareholders who were to get a dividend of a Sh0.75 per share. CMA also cracked the whip on the firm’s accounts and election of directors.
Within the board are claims that during the tenure of Karbolo, EAPCC performance was wanting and even fear was that the accounts were cooked to hide dirty dealings.

NSSF, through its Managing Trustee Richard Langat has stated mega scandals have taken place and a need to unearth how much EAPCC has lost is necessary by engaging forensic audit.
At one time last year, an Annual General Meeting was thrown into disarray when Wilson Songa, the principal secretary and NSSF representatives stormed out in protest. They claimed mismanagement at the firm was almost bringing it to its knees.