, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – The Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation Eugene Wamalwa has dissolved the 10-member National Irrigation Board over graft allegations and conflict with the management.
Wamalwa on Friday said he had appointed Gitonga Mugambi as the new General Manager in acting capacity, in a bid to ensure smooth transition and stability.
“Following the standoff between the board and management of NIB over two weeks ago, I did issue a directive, which was not complied with. Consequently, upon expiry of the said notice on the 11th of May 2016 and in view of the said failure to comply, and in open defiance of the said directive and the resultant state of paralysis, which has affected operations of this key institution, I did yesterday morning (on Thursday) dissolve the National Irrigation Board in its entirety,” he said.
The CS has called on the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission to kick off investigations into the graft allegations and recommend prosecution against those found culpable.
The board, he says will be reconstituted in the next three months in a cleanup exercise set to ensure proper management of the institution.
“Further, the reconstitution of the board is necessary because three of its board members including the chairman are serving public officers in various public universities contrary to the circular Ref. No. OP/CAB.9/1A dated 3rd February, 2016 from the Chief of Staff Head of Public Service which directed ministries to replace board members who are public officers,” the minister pointed out.
He complained that the wrangles that were ongoing at the board risked the food security of the country saying “he will not allow graft, boardroom wars, sideshows and intrigues to affect the momentum we have gained towards realisation of this goal.”
He assured that all the necessary measures will be taken, to ensure the new board executes its mandate professionally and effectively.
On April 26, Members of Parliament had threatened to impeach Wamalwa over claims of abusing office over the wrangles.
It was after he reinstated the General Manager Daniel Barasa and two other senior officials, saying the suspension did not follow due process.
The NIB Board had suspended the manager, his deputy Mary Chomber and Procurement and Supplies Manager Boaz Akello for six months to pave way for investigations over financial impropriety.
MP’s led by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter; said Wamalwa did not follow the legal process in reinstating the officials.
Barasa has since offered to retire from the public service according to Wamalwa.