, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – Youth and Sports Minister Professor Hellen Sambili has directed that Umuro Wario will remain in office as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund.
She told a news conference that Mr Wario had been cleared of any wrong doing by the Kenya Anti- Corruption Commission (KACC) over allegations of misappropriation of funds and did not understand why the Fund’s Board had purported to dismiss him.
“The KACC informed me that they had completed their investigations. Mr Wario was not found guilty of any wrongdoing. This was the basis upon which I reinstated him as the CEO of the Youth Fund,” she said.
Mr Wario has been embroiled in a dispute with the Board which placed advertisements in the press informing the public he was no longer the CEO and warned against engaging with him on ay official business. The move appeared to receive the backing of Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando who accused the Minister of ignoring advice on the matter.
on Tuesday, Professor Sambili was alone when she addressed the media at the Ministry’s board room.
When asked if the investigation against Mr Wario had been closed, she appeared to contradict herself when she said that the Attorney General was yet to give further directions on the matter after getting the report from KACC. The AG can agree with KACC recommendations or disregard them where he feels further investigations are needed. He can also decline to institute charges even where recommended by the anti-graft agency.
“For now we have to wait for the Attorney General to take action which is normal,” she said.
The Minister accused the Board of over stepping its mandate for allegedly failing to notify her when it fired Mr Wario.
“I wish to say that in this matter, the board was hasty and premature in its decision to terminate Mr Wario’s contract. They acted when investigations were incomplete,” she stated.
She blamed the controversy on political differences but urged the Board and other stakeholders in the Ministry to work together.
“I wish to urge the Chair of the Board to desist from the charades of character assassination that is unbecoming of professionals of her stature. These are very serious issues that ought neither to be personalised nor trivialised,” she asserted.
The CEO was sent on compulsory leave in March following allegations of his involvement in corruption. Prof Sambili reinstated him last month, but the Board issued a statement contradicting her while she was out of the country.
In turn, Mr Wario accused the Board of irregularities citing various agreements that he alleged were entered into without following correct procedure.