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Kenya: Impunity – How Aids Board Used Shortcuts to Hire CEO

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The National Aids Control Council (NACC) hired a chief executive officer without the knowledge of its Human Resource Directorate, the Nation has established.

In a scandal that reeks of impunity in government circles, the Legal Department was not even aware of who drafted the advertisement calling for applicants, which was placed in the dailies in February. The Nation has seen emails and text messages from staff members in both departments that raise doubts about the process.

Following the controversy, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) last week wrote to the NACC board following complaints of irregularities and favouritism on the appointment of Dr Ruth Laibon-Masha as the new CEO.

“We received the complaints, and we have responded to the EACC,” said NACC Board Angeline Siparo.

NACC has not disclosed the criteria used to pick Dr Masha out of four deputy directors, some of whose resumes were way better. Ms Siparo directed the reporter to the EACC, who are yet to respond to the Nation.

WORLD BANK

On Tuesday last week, Ms Siparo sent a statement to the media about the appointment of Dr Laibon-Masha, taking over from Dr Nduku Kilonzo, who had been in office since 2014.

Those eyeing the position included Mr Dennis Kamuren, now the Deputy Director for Finance and Administration, an MBA holder from the University of Nairobi with 15 years in management, including working at the World Bank.

The other is Emmy Chesire, now NACC’s Deputy Director for Support and Coordination who has a PhD in Public Health and holds a Master in Education in Primary Health Care from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Emmy has over 29 years’ experience in public service having lectured at Kenya Medical Training College and at the United Nations.

Regina Ombam is the Deputy Director, HIV Investments and is pursuing her PhD in Economics at the University of Nairobi. She has worked in the HIV space for over 20 years and has even lectured at the University of Nairobi.

WORKING EXPERIENCE

Then there is John Kamigwi Mwangi, the Deputy Director for Policy, Monitoring and Research, a veteran but he was uninterested in the position as he is about to retire.

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Dr Masha has worked for the UNAids Kenya office, ActionAid and Family Health Options Kenya. She has a PhD in Public Health from Jomo Kenyatta University. Her LinkedIn account says she has worked in the HIV space for 10 years and one month.