The after effects of chemotherapy have left billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi a pale shadow of his former self. Photos doing heavy rotation on social media have elicited sympathy and vile attacks from Kenyans in almost equal measure.
Chris Kirubi, or CK as he is popularly known, is a man whose business knack is a subject of debate. A section of Kenyans have faulted him for engineering the collapse of Kenya National Transport Co-operative Society (Kenatco); being the architect behind the woes bedeviling Uchumi Supermarket chain to date and the near hemorrhage of the national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ).
He is a man who looks after his own selfish ends at the expense of the public, his critics argue.
But to some, CK is an astute businessman who doesn’t go wrong when it comes to investing. Back to Kenatco.
This would have been the first successful transport business society in Kenya started by businessman Peter Mbacia in 1966 if the Government had not interfered with its operation.
Kenatco growth was frustrated by the powers that be in a bid to wrestle control of the business from Mbacia. The businessman was frustrated by the many roadblocks erected by the government that he was unable to pay loans borrowed from commercial banks. The state announced the company was unable to pay its loans and swiftly nationalized Kenatco.
Fast forward to the 70s. Chris Kirubi and John Gitao took over as the new general managers of Kenatco after a succession of other managers and politicians whose tenures were also dented with scandals.
Chris Kirubi has absolved himself from running down Kenatco instead blaming Yuda Komora from the Ministry of Tourism for “allowing people to do magendo using Kenatco vehicles”, Kirubi told the Nation. He went on to tell the same publication: “Go and look at the records. I left a very healthy balance sheet, 50 Mercedes Benz saloon cars, and 25 Mercedes trucks. We also had big contracts,” the businessman said in his defense.
Chris Kirubi was charged with fraud but later acquitted. The industrialist and 13 other directors were accused of defrauding the Uchumi supermarket chain by selling without valuation the Aga Khan branch for kes147 million.
CJ knew Uchumi was collapsing and sold off all his shares in 2014. Kirubi had five percent Uchumi stocks, making him one of the top ten shareholders in the supermarket chain.
Kenya Airways (KQ)
The business mogul has been accused of having a hand in the collapse of KQ. This assertion is rather conflicting given he purchased 2 million shares into an airline that was in a perennial loss-making mode.
That financial year (2014/15) KQ had suffered a loss of Kes25billion but he proceeded to take the risk “to demonstrate my patriotism, hope, and faith in our national career”, he wrote on his decision to purchase the share.
Businesses owned by Chris Kirubi
International House Building
Chris Kirubi’s most recognizable building in the central business district is the International House. Kirubi’s tenants include the Swiss Embassy, the African Economic Research Consortium, clients who have no qualms with leasing his space for long periods.
The building was bought in 1985 from Queensway Development Corporation through Kirubi’s International House management property company.
Avocado Villas-Off Brookside Grove
Riverside Court- on Riverside Drive
In total, the businessman has 41 residential and commercial properties all valued at over $200 million.
Haco Tiger Brands East Africa
The sickly tycoon said to suffer from colon cancer bought Haco Tiger Brands in 1998. He acquired 51% stake of Haco Tiger Brands East Africa from Tiger Brands of South Africa to give him controlling shares of the company that manufactures consumer goods.
“In a way, I feel like I am a part of every Kenyan’s life. 95% of all Kenyans or anyone who comes to Kenya has at one time or the other used a product that is manufactured by me,” Kirubi told Forbes in a past interview.
He resuscitated Capital FM from its deathbed in 1998 making it a leading urban radio station in Kenya. Capital FM blog is interactive and brings up to date news and political analysis. Kirubi learned to be a DJ and had a modestly popular weekly show on the station under the moniker DJ CK – Chris Kirubi.
Reports on Business Daily that Centum Investment CEO James Mworia is paid kes375.6 million per year was fodder for bloggers who went on to claim he was the highest-paid CEO in Kenya.
Chris Kirubi is the biggest stakeholder with a controlling share of 29.9 percent. In 2016, the businessman received kes196 million from the kes665 million dividend payout to shareholders.
Centum Investment launched Two Rivers mall amid color and fanfair early last year. A consortium bringing together Investbrigde, Centum and SABIS under Africa Crest Foundation is the brainchild of SABIS International School. Centum has shares in Safaricom, Kenya Commercial Bank and Coca Cola.
Chris Kirubi has a 9.48 percent stake in UAP making him the largest shareholder. In 2016, the business took home kes 2.8 billion after selling its shares to old mutual. He exited the stock.
He is the chairman of the following companies:
- DHL Express Kenya Limited
- Haco Industries Kenya
- Kiruma International Limited
- International House Limited
- Nairobi Bottlers Limited
- Sandvik East Africa Limited
Non-Executive Director of the following companies:
- Bayer East Africa Limited
- UAP Provincial Insurance Company Limited
- Beverage Services of Kenya Limited
Chris Kirubi Networth
The 79-year-old Chris Kirubi estimated net worth was Kes 30 billion in 2011 by Forbes Magazine. CK’s net worth is currently estimated at between Kes 35 billion to kes 37 billion.