Sony Sugar board sends MD on compulsory leave


Sony Sugar board sends MD on compulsory leave

Bernard Otieno
Sony acting managing director Bernard Otieno when he appeared before MPs July 19, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE 

The Sony Sugar Company’s board has sent on compulsory leave managing director Bernard Otieno over claims of embezzlement of funds.

Board chairman Charles Owino says members will meet next Friday to deliberate on the way forward.

He said their decision to send the MD on compulsory leave follows a protest letter by the Kenya Union of Sugarcane Plantation and Allied Workers who accused him of misappropriation of funds.

The decision comes barely a day after some 2,000 workers downed their tools over unpaid salaries.

They held demonstrations in Awendo, Migori County, demanding close to Sh100 million in salary arrears.

On Tuesday, Mr Owino denied claims that the MD had been suspended.

“Before suspending somebody there are procedures to be followed. The current position is that the MD is on a compulsory leave awaiting the decision that will be reached from Friday’s meeting,” he said.

Mr Owino also accused some local politicians of hiring goons to protest on Monday “on pretext they were our employees.”

“We are asking politicians from this region to go slow on this issue. We want calm as we look for the way forward,” he said.

However, the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation and Allied Workers deputy secretary General John Ogutu said in meeting held on Monday evening the Sony Sugar MD Mr Otieno and Acting Finance manager Peter Otieno should be investigated.

“In an agreement with the board of directors yesterday the two are to be investigated for the mismanagement of the sugar factory,” said Mr Ogutu on the phone.

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