Suspended Youth Fund CEO now sacked

May 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – The Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) Umuro Wario, has formally been sacked in what insiders say is a result of boardroom politics.

Mr Wario’s sacking was effected by the Fund’s Board on May 11, as various arms of government continued with investigations into allegations of mismanagement. The Board’s decision was communicated to other staff by Michael Kiruti, who is a board member.

“This is to notify you that the employment of Mr Umuro Wario as CEO of the Fund was terminated by the board with effect from 11th May 2009,” the memo to staff members that was seen by Capital News stated.

Mr Wario was sent on compulsory leave last month following accusations that his leadership style was questionable.  But the CEO later alleged that he was edged out for failing to yield to pressure from board members on various tenders and business transactions.

At the fore was a Sh300 million consultancy tender offered to an organisation which Mr Wario is said to have objected to on the basis that it was done through single sourcing.

It is further alleged that three YEDF Board members were directors at the firm under query.  Immediately he was suspended, the Board approved the deal, although it was later cancelled by the government following revelations of irregularities.

Mr Wario has recorded statements with the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission while the Inspectorate of State Corporations is also said to be conducting independent investigations.

Youth Affairs Minister Helen Sambili also called for an audit into the fund’s operations following Mr Wario’s complaints but neither the KACC nor the Inspectorate hav released their findings.

“We have not formally received the report; when we do we will certainly tell you fully on what the audit has revealed,” said Prof Sambili on Wednesday.

The sacking leaves more questions than answers particularly considering that the Board has not given reasons for its decision. The action is also likely to push more officers out of office over frustrations. According to a source at the Fund, two senior managers have already tendered their resignations.

The Chief Accountant and the Procurement Officer both of whom had been suspended by the Acting CEO have reportedly been cleared by the disciplinary committee but there is little indications that they will opt to return to the Fund.

The youthful and soft-spoken Mr Wario was the first head of the two-year-old Fund which has controlled well over Sh2 billion. The Fund has financed more than 65,000 enterprises and provided jobs to over 250,000 youths.


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