Simon Peter Ole Nkeri is the Managing Director at the Athi River based East African Portland Cement Co. Ltd. (EAPCC) - and he is the man on the spot.
Like no other CEO before him, Mr Ole Nkeri is slowly but surely killing the company which has no reason to go under – other than for excessive mismanagement, misappropriation and deliberate sabotage.
Hired by his former colleague at Barclays Bank of Kenya, and then Industrialization Cabinet Secretary, Adan Mohamed, Mr Nkeri has been roundly accused by many as lacking in management skills and enormously gifted with an untold arrogance.
From allegations of sexual assault on his staff to outright theft, Mr Ole Nkeri is one person that was described as an untouchable.
Lucy Rimanto Molonket, the head of Sales and Marketing at EAPCC in 2016 accused Mr Nkeri of causing her frustrations and harassment at her work place besides sexually harassing her on August 31.
In the law suit, she accused him of spearheading her transfer from a position she had served since 2014 and had been earning Sh698,500 in a month to being the head of special projects.
Mr Nkeri is CPSK, ICPAK and LSK member and is a former general manager-operations at National Social Security Fund Kenya (NSSF) and Head of Planning at Barclays Bank of Kenya Ltd.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nairobi and a graduate degree from Birmingham Business School.
At EAPCC he is accused of non-remittances of pension, bank loans and SACCO deductions. He is also accused of continuous extension of contract time for a senior member of staff who has reached retirement age with a salary scale equivalent to paying more than 10 fitters and welders who are critical in the production operations.
At the same time he is said to be forcing the engineers to operate the kiln despite the crack (red spot), reducing the lifespan of the equipment
He is accused of nepotism, double standards, open threats and staff transfers leading to low morale. His tenure has been marked with delays in salary payment.
His accusers told Cofek that other non-payment of allowances, he asks staff to collect cement against the same which is debited at Sh560 per bag whereas the same bag is being sold at Sh550.
They add that the human resource policy was presented to the board for approval - without supporting financial impact report.
At the staff clinic, there is no sufficient drugs thereby putting the lives of the staff members at risk. Doctors and suppliers are also offered pay in terms of cement.
A brother of an appellate Judge was said to have been hurriedly and unprocedurally hired a week after the High Court ruled against removal of then EAPCC chairman - by both Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta.
The company has experienced general decline in turnover from approximately Sh8.8 billion in the year ended 30th June 2016 to Sh6.9 billion the year ended 30th June 2017. Sources say that as per current draft accounts turn-over for the period ended 30th June 2018 is approximately Sh5.1 billion.
Minimum sales per month on average prior to August 2016 was 60,000 metric tonnes. Sales per month currently is less than 20,000 metric tonnes – meaning that Mr Nkeri has driven the company to operate around 30 per cent capacity of what he inherited.
As per the draft annual reports and accounts, cost of sales was Sh 5.3 billion as at 30th June 2018, as compared to sales revenue of Sh5.1 billion.
Consequently the company sold cement at less than cost of production. The high cost of sales, our sources say, was mainly due to numerous plant stoppages on account of raw materials stock outs.
As per the draft annual reports and accounts, operating loss as at 30th June 2018 is approximately Sh3.4 billion as compared to Sh1.3 billion for the period ended 30th June 2017.
Mr Nkeri could neither pick our calls or respond to our messages. Efforts to reach the newly appointed EAPCC board chairman Mr Edwin Kinyua were unsuccessful as staff our sources could locate his contact.
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