Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KENGEN) shareholders are an angry, frustrated lot after foregoing dividend payments for two years even with the company reporting a 34 per cent growth that translated into Sh9.057 billion.
During the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) shareholders took issue with the non-payment and the amount of money paid to board members.
One shareholder, Daniel Kimotho argued that the board members could go without the dividend as they have a salary paid out every month.
“The reason we invested in KenGen is so that we can get a return and not just in form of capital gain but also an annual dividend. We have looked at your emoluments and note that if you go without a dividend, it is not a big deal because you have the emoluments,” Mr Kimotho said.
But KENGEN’s Chairman, Joshua Choge came to the directors’ defense noting that they are ‘highly qualified individuals’ monumental in the growth of the company.
The non-executive directors were in the ended financial year June 2017 paid a sum of Sh44.6 million.
“The board members sacrifice their time. They are also highly qualified individuals who give their input to the company’s strategy with the aim of further growing it.”
Mr Choge also said that the company could have paid the dividends but that could have meant not completing their projects in time.
“We acknowledge that we should have paid dividends but also understood that we needed to inject some money in the projects that we are currently undertaking, which when completed will significantly grow the value of your shares. We could have paid dividends but we would not be able to complete the projects on time. We are a responsible board that wants to grow shareholder wealth,” he said.
Last year, KENGEN did not pay the dividends, for the first time in ten years, even after raising Sh26.4 billion through a rights issue.
The company in 2016 did however miss it Sh28.6 billion target.
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