, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Council has cleared its Chief Executive Officer Lydia Nzomo of abuse of office allegations contained in a report released by the Commission on Administrative Justice.
An investigation report by the council termed the allegations as bordering on malice and witch-hunt aimed at blocking Nzomo’s nomination as the chairperson of the Teachers Service Commission.
“The council requests the CAJ to take the concerns raised in this response letter and its attachment, and amend the report to portray the true and accurate position on issue addressed in the report,” read a response letter signed by the KICD Council Chairman Peter Kinyanjui.
“It appears curious that investigations on the same issues had been intensified afresh this year and coincidentally when Nzomo applied for TSC chairmanship and after she emerged the top,” he said.
The letter dated August 28, says that council convened a special meeting to deliberate on the CAJ report where members raised questions that the Institute has been responding to institutions on the same allegations since May 2012, but they have never received a report on it.
In their response to CAJ, The council notes that CAJ has contravened its provision of its on Act by investigating allegations which were probed by the Auditor-General in April 2012 and later by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from June to August 2012.
The CAJ Act 2011, Section 31(h) prohibits the commission from investigating issues under investigation by other bodies or organizations.
The KICD Council further raised concerns that the Office of the Ombudsman led by Otiende Amollo had made the report public without inviting them to respond to the allegations.
“The council noted that your investigation cleared the Director of 17 out of 18 allegations levelled against her. CAJ was provided sufficient documents to explain the issue,” the response letter read.” But you did not take the explanation into you final account.”
The Office of the Ombudsman had received nine allegations but the cases were narrowed down to four, comprising abuse of power with respect to drilling of a borehole, malpractices relating to staff accommodation during travel to Mombasa, misuse of reserve account funds, nepotism and favouritism in employment, charges which she rejected when she appeared before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman had requested the Auditor General to investigate the financial affairs of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development after it emerged it operates several fixed deposit accounts without the approval of its board.
But the council said the report were untrue and malicious saying that the Institute has no fixed deposit accounts.
The council said Nzomo had explained to the commission that her institution would retain funds that were not utilized at the end of a financial year in reserve accounts in keeping with Legal Notice No. 105 of 1976.
The commission accused Nzomo of recruiting relatives, including a man detectives say is her brother, Charles Anampiu and sister Mercy Mwangi, which is against public service procedures.
Investigators say they unearthed details, including names, places of birth and names of parents that are similar to those of Dr Nzomo, adding that she was evasive when the commission sought answers.
On this allegation the council stated that the recruitment of the two officers was done procedurally and on merit.
The council says Mwangi had applied for employment as casual for the job of a kitchen attendant and was later employed after recommendation from the Chief Administrative Officer in 2004.
The council said Anampiu was posted to KIE by his then employer in 2005 as that was the procedure for posting curriculum, educational media and research specialists to the Institute before 2008.
The council approved the recruitment in 2008 following the publication of Legal Notice No. 55 of 2007 which required the Institute to recruit its own personnel.