CMC battles represent a new order


Mr Paul Wanderi Ndung’u, Mr Joel Kamau Kibe and Mr Peter Muthoka have been at the centre of CMC boardroom battles, representing a new order taking over from the old guards

When Mr Muthoka became the chair of the board in April after the long serving chairman Jeremiah Kiereini was ousted in a boardroom coup, the winds of change were sweeping over, it seemed.

However, a couple of months later the three find themselves on opposite sides. Mr Muthoka wants to have the two out of the board after the tide turned against him.

Both sides are said to be politically connected raising an intriguing battle where “new money” is starting to make waves in Kenyan politics.

Mr Ndung’u and Mr Kibe are shareholders in Mobicom Investments ltd, a leading distributor for mobile phones and phone accessories as well as airtime vouchers for Telkom Kenya.

Emerging big investor

It is also during the early 2000s, when Mr Ndung’u began to emerge as a big investor as he accumulated 9.8 million shares in the national carrier Kenya Airways.

By the end of 2005, he became the single largest individual shareholder in KQ, with his worth being about Sh980 million. However, he is no longer among the top ten shareholders.

Whether Mr Ndung’u made the money to invest in shares from Mobicom or as a proxy it is not exactly known.

But his connection to the high and powerful becomes apparent with his first business venture, Taipan Forex Bureau.

He owned two more bureaus against a CBK regulatory law for controlling foreign exchange. As far as shares in CMC are concerned, Mr Ndung’u and Mr Kibe started accumulating them since 2004.

In 2007, Mr Ndung’u had risen to be the single largest shareholder in CMC with a 13.53 per cent stake.

Mr Kibe had 21 million shares equal to 4.38 per cent stake making him the fourth largest shareholder.

Rift Valley Finance company associated with Mr Kibe had 22.2 million shares about 4.6 per cent. Mobicom, was among the top ten shareholders with a 2.19 per cent stake.

Mr Kibe and Mr Ndung’u now owned about a quarter of CMC shares. Mr Muthoka who held about 19 million shares, nearly quadrupled them from 6.6 per cent in 2009 to 24.7 per cent in August 2011.

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