, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – Suspended Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) Managing Director Selest Kilinda now says the move by the board to dismiss him over allegations of nepotism should be revoked if other senior officers with similar cases are not fired too.
Defending himself before the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Kilinda claims that his suspension was malicious and that he did not at any time influence the hiring of his relatives – two sisters and a brother – at the company.
The MD was sent home in May this year by the board after he was accused of employing Agnes Kilinda, Marietha Kilinda and Donald Kilinda without following the due process.
“I am not involved in the hiring of all employees at the company. Some positions like from job group one to five is by the board. And even in this other positions, the candidates are usually assessed by other managers before I am given the names to approve. So how could I refuse to approve anyone (brother and sisters) if the line managers had assessed them?” Kilinda posed to the committee.
He revealed to the committee that the board has already terminated his contract even without finalizing the investigation.
He accused the board of dismissing him without following the company’s policies adding that to date; the board has not called him for any meeting to question him on the matter but always communicated through letters.
“I don’t understand why I should be the one to carry the blame for the whole company. This, I would say has been the practice at the company. All the so-called relatives applied for the jobs and I did not influence the process at all,” Kilinda maintained.
But the board chairman Samuel Maluki who also appeared before the committee said the MD had to be dismissed to allow for further investigations and ensure that he does not influence the outcome.
However Maluki could not convince the committee, chaired by Kigumo Member of Parliament Jamleck Kamau why the board has not dismissed five other officers accused of similar offence.
“I know nepotism was the only reason why we suspended the MD,” he said.
The committee was basing its questions to the KPC officials on an audit by the Efficiency Monitoring Unit (EMU).
Other officials who appeared before the committee include Rose Osiako from the Human Resource Department, Business Development Manager John Kithete and Finance Manager Samuel Odoyo.
Osiako faces allegations of employing her two daughters. Kithete on the other hand hired his sister and a daughter. Odoyo is accused of employing his younger sister in the finance department.
“I want to be on record before this committee, that I have not employed any of my relatives in the company,” Rose Ng’inja who is the KPC’s Chief Manager, Human Resource and Administration who also appeared before the committee said.
Ng’inja told the committee that the biggest challenge in the company is the process followed in hiring of junior staff as the positions are not publicly advertised.
“I think it is time for us in KPC to learn our lesson. I would say that this process of assessing candidates for some of these positions is what has led to many of us in the company to inform our relatives and they get an upper hand in landing on the jobs,” she said.