Chirchir under fire over parastatal heads

November 11, 2013
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, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 11 – The Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has issued a two-week ultimatum to Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir to immediately appoint five parastatal heads in his ministry or resign.

COFEK Secretary General Stephen Mutoro on Monday faulted Chirchir for leaving the key bodies without substantive heads, and said it reflects negatively on his competence and suitability to occupy the office.

COFEK Secretary General Stephen Mutoro on Monday faulted Chirchir for leaving the key bodies without substantive heads, and said it reflects negatively on his competence and suitability to occupy the office/FILE
COFEK Secretary General Stephen Mutoro on Monday faulted Chirchir for leaving the key bodies without substantive heads, and said it reflects negatively on his competence and suitability to occupy the office/FILE

“The CS has without legitimate reason unreasonably delayed the appointment of substantive CEO’s to very key consumer-interest parastatals,” said Mutoro.

The bodies in question are the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) the Kenya Power Company (KPLC), Rural Electrification Authority (REA), Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“The indefinite wait on Mr Chirchir long after the respective boards of the said agencies submitted their nominees for appointments is hurting the entire sector.”

“This is not acceptable and reflects negatively on his competence and suitability against the vast mandate,” said Mutoro.

The consumers’ watchdog decried that tenures of some heads of these parastatals are about to expire, yet the positions have not been advertised.

Mutoro said they had raised these concerns with the Attorney General Githu Muigai.

“We met with the Attorney General and informed him about our concerns and urged him to advice the Cabinet Secretary of his constitutional duty to be efficient in his duties.”

“The law requires that public officers to be accountable for their administrative acts as well as being transparent in providing to the public timely and accurate information,” he said.

The Federation added that they would seek legal action against the Cabinet Secretary if no satisfactory explanation is made as to the delay in the appointments.

“We will petition Parliament through the relevant committee to summon the Secretary to explain his inability to deliver and if found culpable commence proceedings to get him out of office.”

“Further COFEK will commence a judicial petition on different grounds including the need for Mr Chirchir to be declared unsuitable and incompetent to perform his duty given his inaction and impotence in making relevant decisions.”

“Also we will call for mass demonstrations demanding for his immediate removal from office.” explained Mutoro.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in July appointed a task force that will map out a new policy direction for State corporations.

The 10-member team was expected to review parastatal policies, identify challenges and propose a new policy direction with a view to transforming them into efficient and innovative institutions.

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