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Ex-commissioners among those shortlisted for IEBC jobs

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IEBC’s selection panel for Commissioners during a press conference.[Wilberforce Okwiri,Standard]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission-IEBC has shortlisted 36 candidates for the positions of four commissioners.
The list is, however, dominated by former commissioners seeking to reclaim their lucrative titles at the electoral body.
The list is led by Roseline Odhiambo-Odede, who was the vice-chair of the judges and magistrates vetting board.

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Odede was among five candidates that were shortlisted by IEBC’s selection panel in 2016 for the position of chairperson.
However, the current chairperson Wafula Chebukati won the race succeeding Issac Hassan.
Four-time Commissioner Murshid Abdalla, who narrowly lost the race for Data Commissioner to another former IEBC staffer Immaculate Kassait, last year is also on the list.
Murshid was a commissioner at the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), which had replaced the disgraced Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) in 2009.
He later became a member of the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission of Kenya under the chairmanship of Andrew Ligale.
However, when IIEC was transiting to IEBC in 2011, Abdalla was shortlisted as one of the finalists along with his former boss at IIEC Issack Hassan and lawyer Koki Muli.
The latter, Kenya’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York since 2013, is also in the race.
Abdalla was a commissioner of the Poverty Eradication Commission in 2008 before he contested for the Chair of the Commission on Administrative Justice (Ombudsman), but lost to now Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo.
When the National Police Service Commission was set up in 2012, he reclaimed his Commissioner role, serving with chair Johnstone Kavuludi until they retired a few years ago.
Florence Jaoko-Simbiri who served in the original Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) succeeding the inaugural chair Maina Kiai in 2007 is also on the list.
At the time, it was perhaps the only high-profile commission of its kind and a forerunner of the other commissions which proliferated with the 2007 post-election period reforms.
In 2012, Jaoko left the commission and went to teach at the University of Nairobi while also taking up international assignments on the side.
Commissioner Kagwiria Mbogori, another former chair of KNCHR (2014-2018) has also made it to the list of shortlisted candidates.
Sellestine Anna Mbii-Kiuluku first tasted a commissioner role in 2012 when she was appointed in the inaugural Salaries and Remuneration Commissioner (SRC) chaired by Sarah Serem.
She later served as Director of Human Resources at the IEBC before her contract expired and she opted not to renew it.
If she sails through, she will bounce back as a commissioner.
Prof Joseph Gitile Naituli is immediate former Commissioner of NCIC whose term ended in 2019.
Gitile was listed as applicant 332 of the four IEBC slots. He is candidate 15 on the list of those invited for the interviews.
He’s angling to reclaim the title he lost two years ago after his term at NCIC ended.
Irene Keino resigned as the Vice-Chair of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in 2015 after president Uhuru Kenyatta formed a tribunal to investigate her suitability.
“For the avoidance of doubt, public service should always complement public interest. So even if certain events cause one personal pain and anguish, the cardinal principle of the greater good should prevail,” she said in a statement at the time.
The investigations have never been concluded and report tabled.
Another former commissioner is Irene Cherop Masit who was with the IIERBC team of Ligale that drew up the current electoral boundaries. 
Cherop wants to be back to not only become a full commissioner but also redraw the boundaries as is required by law.
Justice Maithya Munyithya served as a member of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board that operated like a Commission in the aftermath of the 2010 constitution passage.
In 2016, Munyithya was among the pool of 748 Kenyans who applied to become commissioners at IEBC but was not shortlisted. 
Sellestine Anna Mbii-Kiuliku served as a commissioner in the Salaries and Remuneration Commission representing the Judicial Service Commission.
She was among the team that on October 7, 2012, declared a hefty exit package that MPs had awarded themselves illegal and indicated that it would move to court to block it.
Prior to her appointment as a commissioner, Sellestine worked as the Director – Human Resources and Administration at IEBC.
County Election Manager Ruth Kulundu, Director of communications and events Tabitha Mutemi and former Commission ICT director Dismas Ong’ondi, who currently work for the commission, wanted to scale higher but did not make it.
Others who have made it to the list include the Law Society of Kenya Vice-President Harriet Igonanga Chiggai.
Others are Abdalla Mohamed, Dr Abdirizak Arale, Anne Mwikali, Caroline Njeri Ng’ang’a, Dr Catherine Muchiru Kamindo, Cecillia Ngoyoni, Con Omore Osendo, Dr Dinah Jeruto Kipkebut, Felix Useru Nyauchi, Francis Wanderi, Dr Joseph Kang’ethe Ng’anga, Juliana Whonge, Julius Kiplagat Rotich, Justus Abonyo Ng’ang’a and Amb Koki Muli Grignon.
Amb Lucy Jebet Chelimo, Prof Maurice Amutabi, Prof Michael Napo Lokuruka, Naisiae Tobiko, Prof Richard Okoth Oduor, Dr Rose Mumbua Musyoka, Col Saeed Khamees Saeed, Dr Salim Ndemo, Simeon Pkiyach Pkatey Muket, Timothy Tipila Ole Naeku and Zippy Nzisa Musyimi also made it to the list.
“Now, therefore, the selection panel for the appointment of commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission hereby publishes names of applicants shortlisted for the position of Member of IEBC as well as the dates for the psychometric and the respective oral interview dates,” read part of the notice advertised in newspapers.
The panel said the shortlisted applicants will have to undertake a psychometric test on June 30, 2021, before the start of oral interviews which will run between July 7, 2021, and July 22, 2021.
The panel said members of the public are invited to avail, in writing, by memoranda, any information of interest with respect to the suitability of any of the shortlisted applicants

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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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