Mumias brings in new chairman to steer turnaround

Sugar miller Mumias has overhauled its board after shareholders expressed dissatisfaction with the previous directors. In the shakeup Kennedy Mulwa comes in as the chairman, replacing Dan Ameyo who opted not put himself up for re election during Mumias annual general meeting held in December. Patricia Adala, Nelson Orgut and Peter Ingosi also join the board, with the mandate of steering Mumias recovery plans. Mumias owes the farmers Sh650 million and has a debt load of Sh11 billion. In its full year ended June 2016, Mumias Sugar sank deeper into the red with a net loss of Sh4.7 billion from Sh4.6 billion a year earlier. Shareholders and farmers alike felt disheartened by the results despite efforts to turnaround the business. Despite government efforts to turn things around with a Sh3 billion bailout, Mumias has been unable to turn a profit. The miller is seeking a further Sh1 billion to turn things around. Mr Mulwa is an economist and businessman linked to several businesses in the hospitality, real estate and agricultural sectors. The new directors bring expertise from the airline, tea, financial and tourism sectors. They replace John Barorot and Elizabeth Kyengo who also retired from the board last year. Mumias has been implementing turnaround strategies with the help of its lenders and shareholders. Steps taken so far include restructuring of its staff, rehabilitation of the factory and increasing the utilization of the ethanol plant. Mumias has already shut down its water bottling plant as well as sale of electricity to Kenya Power. Reporting by Brenda Nyamichaba

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