Kakuzi is yet again on the spot over allegations of shifting profits abroad and corporate governance issues.
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has launched investigations inquiring on corporate governance perpetrated by its majority shareholder Camellia Plc and transfer pricing.
“We are looking at the company anchor shareholder which has a big say in the company after issues were raised by minority shareholders who feel that over time the big shareholders have been misusing their position,” a senior officer at the CMA said.
The market authority has also stepped-up surveillance of the company for irregular practices that have hurt small shareholders and farmers while benefiting majority owners.
Minority shareholders of the company had previously complained about being locked out of the company board, which was controlled by the British company Camellia Plc.
The multinational controls 50.7 per cent of Kakuzi through its holdings in Bordure Limited and Lintak Investments.
Kakuzi is also facing publishing cooking books challenges due to its majority owners, who have long excluded local shareholders from the company’s board of directors.
This comes as the agriculture firm is facing allegations of human rights violations including rape and violence.
The multinational had sued KHRC and Ndura Resource Centre, demanding that the lobbies withdraw claims of human rights violations on the multinational’s Murang’a farms, or provide evidence of the alleged violations by security guards manning avocado and blue gum trees.
The two lobby groups were vocal about violence meted out on Murang’a residents neighbouring Kakuzi’s farms in Murang’a.
A group of 79 Murang’a residents sued Kakuzi’s parent firm, Camellia PLC in the UK, following investigations by the two lobby groups.
Camellia PLC struck an out-of-court deal with the claimants, and paid them Sh696 million before settling their legal bills.
So far, the Kakuzi has asked the High Court to withdraw a suit that the multinational filed against two human rights lobbies.