Kidero fights to gag media on Mumias, judge declines request

 DAILY NATION

PHOTO | EVANS HABIL Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero addresses journalists at City Hall in Nairobi on the February 17, 2014.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero addresses journalists at City Hall in Nairobi on the February 17, 2014. The governor has moved to court to stop journalists from linking him with Mumias Sugar’s financial woes. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PAUL OGEMBA

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has moved to court to stop journalists from linking him with Mumias Sugar’s financial woes.

Dr Kidero sought to defend his nine-year tenure at the helm of Mumias Sugar Company, saying he was not to blame for the current troubles facing the company.

Judge David Onyancha, however, declined to grant the governor interim orders stopping the Nation Media Group and Standard Group from publishing stories linking him to a report compiled by KPMG after it investigated Mumias.

Justice Onyancha only certified the application as urgent and directed that he serves the respondents before the hearing on March 18.

Senior Counsel Tom Ojienda argued that the forensic audit by KPMG showing massive losses at the company was carried out after his client had left the company and did not cover the years he was at the helm.

BASED ON FALSEHOOD

“In any event, the stories were premised on an unconcluded draft report dated December 18, 2014, which had a disclaimer clause that it was not for public use since they knew they had not given a chance to the people they mention to defend themselves,” said Prof Ojienda.

According to Dr Kidero, the media reports are based on falsehoods meant to discredit his character and portray him as a corrupt individual not worthy to be entrusted with a public office.

“Dr Kidero was neither a managing director nor any other director of the company over the three-year period starting July 2011 as to be able to grant top distributors of Mumias Sugar Company over Sh2.4 billion worth of discounts,” said Prof Ojienda.

Dr Kidero, in his supporting affidavit, explained how he joined the company when it was incurring millions in losses and left when it was making billions of shillings in profits.

“When I joined Mumias Sugar Company in 2003, I found a rundown company on the verge of collapse, with losses totalling Sh244 million for the 2002/2003 financial year.

“But with the support and dedication of my team, the company became a success story year in, year out,” said Dr Kidero.

Under his tenure as the MD, Dr Kidero said the company made a profits of Sh1.1 billion for the 2003/2004 financial year, Sh1.8 billion (2004/2005), Sh2.5 billion (2005/2006), Sh1.9 billion (2006/2007), Sh1.5 billion (2007/2008), Sh1.1 billion (2008/2009), Sh2.1 billion (2009/2010), Sh2.6 billion (2010/2011) and Sh1.7 billion (2011/2012).

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