A tussle has been going on at the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) pitting president Richard Ngatia against Mary Basweti Nyachae.
Ms. Nyachae, a relative of the former powerful cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae, has accused Mr Ngatia of degrading the Women In Business (WIB) agenda.
Ms. Nyachae is the chairperson of WIB.
The issue that has emerged is that Mr. Ngatia doesn’t want Ms. Nyachae to be the head of the women wing of the KNCCI, he instead wants a Kikuyu lady, Ms Cynthia Nyawira to replace her.
Ms. Nyachae was appointed and confirmed at the time the president of the organization was Kiprono Kittony in an Annual General Meeting held on February 2019.
Since Mr. Ngatia took over in may 2019, things have not been rosy for Ms. Nyachae. He has ignored all communications, legal or whatever from her office which Mr. Ngatia has also not allowed to be inside the premises of KNCCI offices.
Ms Nyachae has even hired a lawyer in the wrangles, accusing Mr. Ngatia of sidelining her and keeping away from important meetings of the organization.
“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.
Mr. Ngatia according to sources has blocked Ms. Mary Nyachae from assuming her office with the chairman forcefully boasting that he wants ‘an elected person’.
In many committee meetings, Ms. Nyachae has been kept in the dark.
In an early November incident, Ms Nyachae 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.”
She protested, “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.
Ngatia, being the headstrong he is, went ahead to form a 10-member committee chaired by his choice for women in business leadership, Ms Nyawira.
The meeting was convened to solve the issues surrounding women access to the government of Kenya opportunities. Those who attended the meeting said they were notified through WhatsApp messages. Ms. Nyache was left out of this communication despite being the duly appointed person in charge of women affair in the chamber.
Sources say that Ngatia is a tribalist who is intent on pushing out all those who are not of his tribe.