Why Centum CEO James Mworia is under attack

Centum CEO James Mworia has become the target of a number of wheeler-dealers who are after the multi-billion assets held by the company.

Centum CEO, James Mworia with the late Chris Kirubi

Mworia, who has been the CEO of Centum from 2008, was left in charge of the multi-billion investment company, much to the dismay of cartels who expected he would be a pushover.

According to an insider with extensive knowledge of the Kirubi empire, the coordinated attack on social media seemed to be aimed at maligning Centum and it's leaders by wheeler-dealers under the guise of ex-employees.

The company recently folded its services division, Centum Business Solutions (CBS) in a cost cutting measure to save Sh150 million annually.

The 'former employees', in a letter published by bloggers Cyprian Nyakundi and Robert Alai, claimed that their exit from the company was unfair.

Mworia, who has been the CEO of Centum from 2008, was left in charge of the multi-billion investment company, after the death of Dr. Chris Kirubi, much to the dismay of cartels who expected he would be a pushover.

Digital communication experts say that coordinated campaigns are used to influence and manipulate social media users and in Kenya, such attacks usually target politicians and sometimes business leaders.

There has been increasing evidence of malicious influencers polluting social media with disinformation and manipulation campaigns.

With the late businessman Chris Kirubi’s exit from the helm of Centum, the wheeler-dealers could have thought that Mworia would have been easier to access the multi-billion assets controlled by the CEO.

However, with Mworia having operated under the wing of the departed icon turned out to be much like his chairman.

Other than blocking access to wasteful use of the company’s resources, the CEO has also focused on tackling inflated costs which sometimes are introduced by greedy players.

Mworia pushed for managing of project costs', was the Centum real estate project dubbed Cascadia apartment. He pushed down the costs from Sh2.65 billion to less than Sh2 billion.

In 2021, Centum made a strategic decision to deleverage the portfolio and reduce financial risk while generating a stable cash return on shareholder funds.

Over the years, the company invested Sh7.8 billion in acquiring and developing the assets under Centum Real Estate – which was valued at Sh16.6 billion in the year ended March 2021.

As a result of massive gains in land and property prices, Centum now holds about 63% of its Sh47.5 billion wealth in real estate – exceeding its target maximum of 55%.

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