KENYA – Kenyan integrated agri-business firm, Kakuzi Plc, has appointed renowned Jurist Justice (Rtd.) Violet Mavisi as the Independent Lead of the Company’s Operational Level Grievance Mechanism (OGM).
Kakuzi kicked off its SIKIKA OGM development process in October 2020 to provide a systematic and transparent process for receiving, investigating, and addressing company-related grievances from internal and external stakeholders.
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.
In the new role, Ms Mavisi, a former Vice Chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), will spearhead the functional rollout of the Kakuzi OGM.
The agricultural firm will tap into the extensive expertise of Ms Mavisi, having over thirty years of experience in civil and criminal assignments, providing impetus to the firm’s ongoing efforts to maintain world-class human rights management standards.
“At Kakuzi, we are pleased to welcome aboard Ms Mavisi as the new Independent SIKIKA OGM Head.
“For Kakuzi Plc, ‘doing the right thing’ means investigating every complaint related to its business, focusing on facts and providing an appropriate and accountable remedy for those cases where evidence indicates that harm was done. Doing the right thing also means sitting down with community members in a calm and orderly manner, listening to people’s concerns and together creating solutions.
“By integrating this into our Community Social Investment Programs we have already been able to find some long-lasting solutions to a number of issues which some of our community members were facing, in particular, the community feedback from our Jiko Kisasa initiative has been very encouraging,” said Kakuzi Plc Managing Director Mr Chris Flowers.
Alongside the SIKIKA OGM, Kakuzi, has also established the Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee (IHRAC) benchmarked against the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The company appointed Kenya’s former Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai to be the Chair of the independent advisory panel.
With the appointment of the committee to its Board, Kakuzi Plc became the first corporate organisation in Sub Sahara Africa to constitute and establish such an independent advisory panel benchmarked against the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
In appointing the IHRAC, Kakuzi has joined the growing list of globally focused institutions’ progressively adopting the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, such as chemicals manufacturer BASF SE, among others.
The committee provides independent technical advisory to the firm’s Board of Directors, guaranteeing sustainable compliance with global human rights principles across the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm’s operations.