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Mwatela seeks answers from Muthaura

NAIROBI, September 12 – Central Bank deputy governor Jacinta Mwatela on Friday received a formal letter of transfer to the Ministry of Northern Kenya Development.

Capital News established that the letter stipulating her new duties as Permanent Secretary was from the head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura, and was dated September 10.

“In exercise of powers under section 111 sub-section 1 of the constitution of Kenya, his Excellency Mwai Kibaki has appointed you as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of State for Development of Northern Kenya and other arid lands with effect from September 8,” the letter read in part.

The letter also explained her responsibilities and the people she would be working with.  “The position of PS is graded but you will be advised separately of the terms and conditions of service by the PS Ministry of Public Service,” the letter continues.

Mwatela who has not vacated office since her appointment earlier in the week immediately sent a reply to Muthaura seeking further clarification of the appointment.

“In order to help me understand this appointment, kindly clarify to me how I am supposed to perform two high responsibilities since I am still the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Kenya as duly appointed by His Excellency Mwai Kibaki,” her reply reads.

She said that her appointment as deputy governor was done under section 11 (2) of the Central Bank of Kenya Act and was valid for a period of four years from May 12, the year 2005.

She has attached a copy of gazette notice 3917 for ease of Muthaura’s reference.  “I am not aware of its (Gazette Notice) revocation and want a clarification as soon as possible,” Mwatela’s response says.

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She also told Capital News that the issue of vacating her office at the CBK did not arise.

“You people have been asking me if I am still in office.  Is there something that happened that you people know that I am not aware of?”  she asked this reporter during an interview.

She said the Act under which she was appointed gave her security of tenure and none of the reasons that would warrant her removal from office applied to her.

“I am neither dead nor mad or suffering any insanity that is incapacitating me and I have not been charged with any criminal Act to warrant revocation of my appointment,” she said.

Her transfer from the CBK has elicited protest from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which said it was contrary to the law.

Committee Chairman Bony Khalwale said Thursday that the President contravened the law when he moved Mwatela to the Ministry of Northern Kenya and other arid areas as Permanent Secretary.

“We read mischief and we will request for a ministerial statement from the relevant ministry over the transfer,” he said.

Section 11 (2) of the CBK Act sets out the instances under which the appointment of Governor, Deputy Governor or a director can be terminated by the President.

Any of the three can be removed if judged bankrupt, convicted of an offence involving dishonesty, fraud, moral turpitude or declared to be of unsound mind.

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Members of the Committee resolved to raise the matter when Parliament resumes in October.

Mwatela who has been at the Central Bank for close to 30 years was replaced by Dr Hezron Nyangito who was previously the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Medical Services.

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