, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7- Information Minister Samuel Poghisio has stepped in the row at the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) by not only reinstating the embattled Director General Charles Njoroge but also renewing his contract for another three years.
Mr Poghisio told a media briefing hours after it emerged that Mr Njoroge had been sent on compulsory leave that the decision to fire him was unilateral and was taken before consultation with him or other members of the board.
"I am informed that following an altercation that occurred during a technical committee meeting of the board this week pitting the DG and of the board members, the chairman of the board unilaterally and without consultation with my office decided to order Mr Njoroge to proceed on leave," explained the minister and declared the decision null and void.
It emerged that the letter written to the DG sending him on leave was not copied to the minister as required by law.
He added: "For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to state that Charles Njoroge remains in office and that as the appointing authority I will proceed to renew his contract in line with the law."
Read some of Mr Njoroge\’s achivements here.
The decision to extend the DG\’s term for another three years was informed by a second review of his performance which was exemplary.
According to an appraisal carried out by the board, Mr Njoroge scored below the 70 percent pass mark, and therefore he was not eligible to have his tenure renewed as he had requested in December last year.
"The report from the Performance Contract provided a contrary view as it shows that the Director General\’s performance was very good. Indeed, from this report and also from my view point and those of the public in general, Mr Njoroge has performed satisfactorily and in line with the expectations of his office," Mr Poghisio added.
Unconfirmed reports suggested that some telecommunications industry players who are not happy with some of the regulations that CCK has been implementing may have been pushing to have Mr Njoroge kicked out.
While Mr Poghisio could not discount that there were ‘invisible’ forces that were behind the row due to business interests, he told them to keep off adding that he would not let the image of the regulatory body to be tainted by such issues.
Given the importance of CCK in the sector, the minister pledged to ensure that the organisation worked with minimal interference both from the government and the industry players.
"CCK forms part of the performance of the Ministry of Information and Communications and my role therefore is to make sure that there is smooth running. We are hosting various international conferences for which CCK needs to play a very crucial role and so we need to have people working in harmony," he affirmed.
Asked whether he would disband the board given the obvious differences among the members, the minister said he expected everyone to effectively play their role devoid of their personal feelings towards each other.
The board members\’ appointments are staggered to ensure continuity of the firm\’s operations.
Already three members\’ terms have expired while the chairman\’s tenure ends in September this year after which he has the option to seek for an extension from the President, who\’s the appointing authority.
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