Kenya

SK Macharia stages 'coup' at DirectLine Assurance Company

SK Macharia stages 'coup' at DirectLine Assurance Company

Billionaire S.K. Macharia has staged a corporate coup by declaring himself chairman and director of the troubled insurance firm, DirectLine Assurance Company, and taken over its management.

It is the largest public service vehicle (PSV) underwriter in the country. Mr Macharia, in a letter to the company’s staff, said he was acting “in the interest of preserving the company”.

“I write to you in my capacity as a representative of the majority shareholders, namely Royal Media Services, Royal Credit Limited, S.K Macharia, P.G Macharia [Mr Macharia’s wife Purity] and the estate of the late Dan Karobia,” he wrote in the letter dated September 3.

He also said he had suspended Ms Terry Wijenje as managing director, CEO and principal and appointed Mr Isaac Ngaru in an acting capacity.

“I take over the position of director and chairman. All staff should report to their respective offices and continue with their duties as normal,” he said.

The company’s other directors are Mr Geoffrey Radier, Mr Kevin McCourt, Mr James Gacoka and Ms Elizabeth Waichigo. His son John Gichia Macharia, who died in May last year, was also a major shareholder.