, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 10 – Information Secretary Ezekiel Mutua has not resigned from office, but details are now emerging over the intrigues surrounding his desire to quit.
Capital News has learnt that Mr Mutua was abruptly directed to relocate from his airy Jogoo House office to a cramped office that was created for him \’overnight\’ at Telposta Towers.
The plans to relocate him were reportedly made in his absence after he was sent to Kisii on official duty.
On his return, he was asked to vacate Jogoo House and hand over the office to one of his juniors.
Sources in the know say there was discontent over the manner in which the \’transfer\’ was made. Mr Mutua held the influential position of Director of Information until he was recently named Information Secretary, which was intended to be a promotion, but he sees it as a demotion.
The move to transfer him to Telposta Towers was read as mischief by Mr Mutua, his staff and colleagues who saw it as a move to reduce him to a "desk man."
Among other things that Mr Mutua is unhappy with include new terms of employment, job description, duties and responsibilities which have nothing to do with the office of the Information Secretary as defined by the Public Service Commission.
Among the new duties the Information Secretary was assigned according to the letter signed by the Information and Communication PS Bitange Ndemo was to organize Kalasha awards, develop the code of conduct for the film industry, to work with the office of the President on firearm licences for hiring, importation, and use of firearms as props in filming, work with ministry of immigration and registration of persons on work permits and fees for film makers, terms and responsibilities that Mutua is said to have described as "bizarre" and completely irrelevant to his training and profession.
More significantly, if he moves to Telposta, Mr Mutua will have no Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) and from the PS\’s instructions would have to seek the approval of his junior who has been appointed the AIE holder, to execute his duties.
"It is strange how a senior officer can hand over office to a junior and move to an office where tools of trade are unavailable" Mr Mutua is said to have said.
It is said Mr Mutua viewed the promotion as having been done in bad faith, ostensibly to get him out of the way or "cut him down to size."
In a statement to the media on Friday, Mr Mutua called off a press conference in which he was to announce his resignation and the reasons for the move. He said the issues that prompted the intended drastic action were addressed after he met the PS early in the day.
He said another meeting between the PS, the Minister for Information Samuel Poghisio and other senior government officials in the ministry took place later in the day to deliberate the same matter.
"Following a meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Information and Communication Dr Bitange Ndemo this morning and another meeting scheduled for later today with the Minister Hon. Samuel Poghisio and other senior officers in the ministry, the press conference scheduled for 2pm today has been called off," the statement read in part.
"It is important to note that I have raised the issues that have contributed to the obtaining situation and have been assured that they will be looked at and official communication on the same be relayed to me in due course," Mr Mutua wrote.
Mr Mutua assured that he would pass over information on the development at the department as he receives them.
"In the interest of transparency and accountability, the way forward will be communicated later" he concluded in the statement.
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