Even as Mumias Sugar company sinks in losses, the board of directors are determined to lick it dry by raising their pay with little or zero performance.
The directors now receive 31 percent higher of their wages, as per the financial report of the year ended June 2018. This hiked the pay to Ksh37.2 million as compared to Ksh28.4 in the previous year (2017). In 2016, the pay stood at Ksh12.4, meaning that the pay more than doubled in 2017.
As if that is not enough, the chairman of the board Kennedy Ngumba added himself a 70 percent pay rise. This makes him one of the highest paid chairpersons of company boards in Kenya, receiving Ksh9.7 million in 2018 from Ksh5.7 million in 2017.
In the year under review, Mumias made a Ksh15.1 billion net loss while its net assets turned to negative Ksh14.3 billion.
However, according to Business Daily, the board did not raise the wages despite a reflection in their financial books. This means that the payments could have been triggered by allowances as a result of ‘excess’ meetings and travels.
“No decision made during the year ended June 30, 2018 affected the directors’ remuneration during the year. Company directors are entitled to basic annual fees and sitting allowance for each board meeting and/or official company function attended,” stated the company.
Among the directors who benefited from the scheme includeJoanne Tabuke who got Ksh5.2 million from Ksh2.5 millio, Naomi Cidi from ksh3 million to Ksh4.6 million Peter Ingosi fromKsh1.2 million to Ksh3.9 million.
The company has been making losses for six consecutive years since 2013, despite several multi-billion efforts by the government to bail it out.
Most of the bailout money is said to have been misused by senior managers.
Since 2015, the National Treasury has allocated Ksh3.7 billion for implementation of the firm’s turnaround strategy in the wake of losses.
In 2017, Ngumbau announced that they were probing how Ksh3.2 billion bailout money was spent under former CEO Errol Johnson.
In January this year, the CEO Patrick Chebosi was sent on compulsory leave with ex-chief security officer Isaac Sheunda replacing him in an acting capacity in a bid to “streamline operations”.
Chebosi had been at the helm for about seven months.
“It will no longer be business as usual where the company is crushing cane and farmers are not being paid for the cane delivered and a few individuals pocket the money meant to ensure the company is revived fully.
“We want to streamline operations at the company making changes in key departments where there is a serious mess following the audit we carried out recently. Our focus in the next six months is to make the company profitable by increasing its efficiency,” said Dr Ngumbau.