KENYA – Kenyan integrated agri-business firm, Kakuzi Plc, has named Mrs Gina Din-Kariuki, a respected and leading businesswoman, philanthropist and champion of Women’s rights, as a member of its newly formed Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee (IHRAC).
The appointment of Mrs Din-Kariuki to the IHRAC marks the finalizing of the constitution of the IHRAC committee chaired by former Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai.
“The Board of Kakuzi Plc is pleased to announce the entry of Mrs Din-Kariuki to the Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee.
“Her entry, following an in-depth selection process, now completes the constitution of the five-member committee, which provides independent advice on human rights to the Board,” Mr Flowers said.
Mrs Din-Kariuki joins other members drawn from diverse professional fields to include: former Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) Board Member Grace Madoka, former Finlays Kenya Legal and HR Director Dr Brenda Achieng, and Kakuzi Plc non-executive independent director Andrew Ndegwa.
Both Ms Madoka and Dr Achieng are Advocates of the High Court of Kenya and have extensive corporate governance experience, while Mr Ndegwa is a Chartered Accountant.
Welcoming Mrs Din-Kariuki to the IHRAC, Prof Muigai said, “The team is delighted to welcome Mrs Din-Kariuki as a member of the Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee.
“She brings a wealth of experience in corporate governance and social responsibility and will strengthen Kakuzi’s effort to remain at the forefront of responsible business practices.”
Commenting on her appointment, Mrs Din-Kariuki said, “I am pleased to join the Kakuzi IHRAC as part of a personal commitment to advance human rights excellence. Kakuzi is making excellent progress by upholding global operating standards.
“I am confident that the IHRAC team will serve for the betterment of the organization and its stakeholders as well as to demonstrate to a wider audience how integrating Human Rights into a business environment can be practically and credibly achieved.”
With the naming of the Committee, the fresh food producer and exporter, becomes the first corporate organization in Sub Sahara Africa to constitute and establish the IHRAC benchmarked against the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
In a trendsetting move, the integrated agri-business firm joins a growing list of globally focused institutions’ progressively adopting the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, such as Global Chemicals manufacturer BASF SE.
The committee would provide independent technical advisory to the firm’s Board of Directors, guaranteeing sustainable compliance with global human rights matters across the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm’s operations.
Alongside the IHRAC body, Kakuzi, has also enacted an Operational-level Grievance Mechanism also benchmarked against the UN Guiding Principles.
The move is aimed to enhance the timely and sensitive resolution to grievances that any of its stakeholders may have concerning the company.
This arose after law firm Leigh Day in October sued the parent company of Kakuzi, Camellia Plc, for turning a blind eye to alleged systematic human rights abuse by its subsidiary’s employees for a period of 11 years since 2009.