Wrangles at KNCCI as Chairman Richard Ngatia Seeks to Oust Mary Nyachae

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(KNCCI Boss Richard Ngatia and Mary Nyachae)

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Richard Ngatia is locked in a tussle with the Women In Business (WIB) Chairperson Mary Nyachae, in what Ms Nyachae termed as being sidelined by the new boss.

Ms Mary Nyachae, daughter to former powerful minister Simeon Nyachae, was appointed as the chairperson of WIB and subsequently confirmed and formally endorsed at the Annual General Meeting of KNCCI held on February 8, 2019.

At that time the president of KNCCI was Kiprono Kittony. Things would later change in March 2019 when Kittony exited. The greedy Ngatia changed everything and made things tougher for Ms Nyachae.

Sources at KNCCI have indicated that Richard Ngatia has blocked all attempts by Ms Mary Nyachae to assume the role she was appointed in at the premier business umbrella body. Her attempt to have an office at their headquarters have been blocked while Ngatia insist that it’s because she wants the office bearer to be elected.

KNCCI under Ngatia’s directive, ignored all legal communications from Ms Nyachae who is claiming to be the duly elected leader of the Women in Business (WIB) forum at KNCCI.

In a protest letter to Ngatia, Ms Nyachae quotes a recent incident on November 6, 2018 when she was excluded in the organization and attendance of what is reported on the Chamber’s website as ” the first women in business forum under the leadership of Chamber President Richard Ngatia.”

“I would like to correct the impression being created, that this was the First Women in Business (WIB) forum under the Leadership of Mr Richard Ngatia. Two WIB forums have been held under his Leadership, and which he is well aware of. He did not, however, grace the same due to unavoidable circumstances, as per messages conveyed to the Forum. Moreover, the notice convening the said forum/meeting was issued by one Ms Cynthia Nyawira purporting to be the “Nairobi County WIB Director” which designation is non-existent in the structure of the Chamber,” says Ms Nyachae.

As if that’s not enough, Ngatia formed a 10-member committee during the forum chaired by Nyawira, to allegedly solve the issues surrounding women access to government opportunities. The announcement was made through Whatsapp, and Ms Nyachae was left out, despite being the one in charge of women affairs in the chamber.

In the leadership structure enlisting chairs of different committees, the slot of WIB has been left blank to insinuate that there is no chair.

Her slot was left empty in committee leaders. Ms Nyachae claims that there are efforts to undermine her and finally dethrone her, and her place taken by Nyawira, said to be Ngatia’s close ally.

“Our client has recently learnt that there have been ongoing efforts to completely sideline her from leading the activities of WIB as Chairperson including but not limited to the convening of meetings designed to whip support for a different person to take up the mantle of WIB leadership. Such meetings are convened without the knowledge and are thus not convened in good faith,” says Ms Nyachae’s lawyer, Lehmann Associates.

Reports indicated that Ngatia is pushing out non Kikuyus, and replacing them his cronies mostly Kikuyus.

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