, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey has defended the controversial appointment of Joseph Koskey as the new Managing Director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
In a statement, Mr Kosgey acknowledged that his appointee was not among the top list of three forwarded to him by the Chairman of the Standards Council Karanja Thiong’o, which had interviewed candidates for the job. However, the Minister said he later received information that the shortlist was not unanimous.
“Soon after receiving the Chairman’s letter, I received correspondence from Council members informing me that there had been no consensus in the shortlist forwarded by the Chairman. They informed me that the letter was written before the selection process was complete and did not have the support of the Council,” said the Minister.
It has emerged that eight out of 13 council members were not in agreement with the list that was forwarded to the Minister for consideration and appointment.
Mr Kosgey also said in his statement that two of the short listed candidates had asked to be paid hefty salaries, which would have been more than triple what the next officer at KEBS is paid.
“KEBS 039 decoded as Abdikadir Omar Aden scored 70 percent. He achieved a high score however he requested for a salary of Sh1,084,000. He later indicated that he was willing to have it reduced to Sh900,000. This is still a high figure considering that the next highest paid employee at the Bureau, after the M.D., earns Sh290,000.”
The Minister appointed Mr Koskey through a gazette notice on Friday. However, there was immediate condemnation from Mr Thiong’o, Industrialisation Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho and Assistant Minister Ndiritu Muriithi, all of whom accused the Minister of ignoring the Council’s recommendation.