Conflict has hit the Ministry of East African Community and Regional Government following the appointment of two executives on the position of acting CEO of the Tana River Development Authority (Tarda).
In the first instance, East African Community cabinet secretary Adan Mohammed appointed sacked Kenya Forest Service director general Emilio Mugo to take up the position.
On the other hand, the board appointed the Authority’s chief technical services manager Gitonga Mbui to take up the position. According to reports, Mbui was appointed in the presence and with the approval of Regional and North Corridor Development Principal Secretary Dr Margret Mwakima.
However, when the Board forwarded the name to CS Mohammed, he rejected the appointment saying that Mr Mugo had already been appointed, triggering a tug of war in the ministry.
At one point it is alleged that board members supporting Mbui tried to break Tarda offices to install him as the acting CEO.
The board now accuses the CS of undermining a March 11 circular from the head of public service Joseph Kinyua, that requires the appointment of an acting CEO be done by the board in consultation with the parent ministry within seven days.
The position was left vacant after Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) recommended the expulsion CEO Steven Maina Githaiga for lying about his date of birth.
In a letter dated September 10, 2020, EACC CEO Twalib Mbaraq said that Mr Githaiga was first registered in 1979 and issued with a National Identity Card No. 1901968 indicating his year of birth as 1953. However, in 2015, Mr Githaiga applied for change of his date of birth on his National Identity Card from October 20, 1953 to October 20, 1958.
“This change was approved by National Registration Bureau on the basis of documents Mr Steven Maina Githaiga had provided which were a Birth Certificate Entry Number 31095382/1995 and a copy of his Passport Number A2043008,” said Mr Mbaraq.
EACC further adds that Mr Githaiga is in possession of two other Birth Certificates issued on August 16, 1979 in Nyeri District.
“The Commission is empowered under Section 4(4) of LIA to require Public Entities to carry out such functions and exercise such powers as may be necessary to enforce compliance with the leadership and integrity requirements. To this end, the Commission advises that for investigations to proceed unabated, the services of Mr Steven Maina Githaiga be suspended with immediate effect until investigations are concluded,” added the letter.
Mr Githaiga was supposed to retire in 2008 at the age of 55 before the government changed the retirement age to 60, giving him five more years at the helm. He was thus supposed to retire in 2013.
He was however not satisfied with the ‘bonus’ of five years, hence decided to change his date of birth to match that on his passport, No. A1593455, acquired on February 2, 2011.
Also, Stephen Maina Githaiga later changed his name to Steven Githaiga Ruimuku.
The same was revealed to Parliament in 2015 by former auditor general Edward Ouko.