Succession politics at the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) have intensified even as the KNCCI’s President Kiprono Kittony term comes to an end.
The politics have drawn two camps behind top candidates, Mr James Mureu and Richard Ngatia running for the top seat.
Mureu who has been Kittony’s deputy launched his campaign ahead of the chamber’s grassroots polls at WildWater Centre in Nyali Consitituncey, Mombasa county.
Ngatia on the other hand is the KNCCI Nairobi chairman Richard Ngatia and has been in intensive lobbying, at times referring to Mureu as a coward.
Among those on Mureu’s camp include KNCCI Mombasa county chairperson Rukia Rashid, who rubbished Ngatia’s candidature.
She urged him to withdraw his quest and rally behind his immediate boss Mureu arguing that he is still green in chamber matters.
“I will move from county to county to campaign against Ngatia’s quest,” she pointed out.
Mureu denied claims he is a coward and not ready to be drawn into controversial situations, saying his first move would be to support the fight against corruption and enhance integrity at KNCCI.
“The cancer of graft will eat the country to the bone and Kenyans should be ready for even the worst,” he pointed out.
Business Development Committee chairman Stephen Mbugua has also expressed interest in the seat.
KNCCI, which is largest business membership organisation in the country, has thrown the candidates into disarray as it is yet to announce poll dates.
The body is said to have introduced a position of second vice president, an appointee of the president to address skills, gender, regional, youth and disability-related imbalance at the top leadership of the chamber.
Charles Wako, Julius Opiyo and Fatma ElMaawy are said to be eying the position.
Those going for regional offices include Rodgers Mulemi (Western), Paul Ouma (Nyanza), Thinguri Waruathe (Central) , Samuel Kanyi, Jacob Godana (Upper Eastern), Patrick Musee (Lower Eastern), Deche Kashero (Coast) and Charles Mose (North Rift Valley).