Employees of Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) are exposing Shipping & Maritime Affairs under the Ministry of Transport, PS Nancy Karigithu for the rot in the agency.
Sources familiar with the goings-on told Kahawa Tungu that the state agency has been suffocating under PS Karigithu.
PS Karigithu was the Director General (DG) of KMA for three consecutive terms, from 2006 to 2015. In January 2015 the then KMA Board of Directors, this writer understands, denied her request to extend her term in office by six months. The Board opined she had nothing new to offer after nine years.
According to our source, the PS left KMA in March 2015 an extremely bitter person. This marked the beginning of an unending war with KMA and its employees.
In January 2016 she was appointed PS State Department for Shipping and Maritime and KMA, placing KMA under her docket.
Immediately after her appointment, the disgruntled PS started fighting the KMA Board and the then acting DG Cosmas Cherop.
So ugly was the fight that at some point, KMA was removed from her docket and placed under the State Department for Transport under PS Irungu Nyakera, who became a target.
In 2018 she managed to have KMA returned under her and managed to influence the appointment of a new Board. She had the acting DG Cherop, removed.
Our source further indicated that Ps Karigithu is now the de facto DG of KMA, running the day-to-day affairs at the Industry regulator.
In the past, she has allegedly differed with and seen 3 DGs leave – Mr Cherop served for over 3 years and was kicked out in March 2017, a Mr George Odhiambo McGoye, who acted from March – October 2018 and Mr George Okong’o, who was appointed DG in October 2018 but was forced to quit in June 2020.
So dire is the situation that the PS attends all board meetings, micro-managing the board which can not make independent decisions.
The position of DG was advertised over a month ago, but the PS is said to have usurped the role and taken over the process.
“It is highly unlikely she will allow the acting DG Mr John Odera Omingo, a man she disdains, to get the position permanently,” our source intimated.
PS Karigithu has also been involved in corrupt practises and has been reported to EACC numerous times, but no action is taken.
For example, in January 2016 she appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Transport to be grilled before being appointed PS. Parliament informed her EACC had written to inform the legislators that she had been reported for graft.
In our possession is a heavily redacted letter from the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) that links the principal secretary with corrupt dealings.
“KMA was removed from under PS Nancy Karigithu and placed under State Dept for Transport under PS Irungu Nyakera. This was due to her constant war with the KMA Board that was affecting KMA performance. Mr Nyakera was removed as PS and replaced by Prof. Maringa.
“Nancy Karigithu continued her fight with KMA and anyone associated with it. For instance, she hates CS Macharia, hated PS Nyakera, and hated PS Maringa.
“At one point she was a loner at the 8th floor of the Ministry of Transport, the CS and all the PSs. Part of the reason is that PS Mrs Nancy Karigithu is a sociopath who craves attention and everything she does is for self-aggrandizement. Also, she will do anything to get that attention and she would rather KMA ‘dies’ if she cannot have it.
“Anyway, at some point in 2017, she convinced PS Maringa to ask the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) to audit KMA. She hoped the audit could catch the KMA Board members and top management so that she could use the audit report to further her war and call for the removal of the Board members,” the letter reads.
It reads further, “However, the audit report found her culpable of corruption during the purchase of land that now sits the new KMA offices.”This was completely unexpected. The hunter, PS Karigithu, had turned into the hunter. And so, she bribed Mr Titus Murithi – the then head of SCAC was to expunge her name from the audit report and forwarding letter that was sent to PS Maringa (who had asked for the audit).”
The letter had been signed by Mr Murithi ready to send to PS Prof Maringa, who had ordered SCAC to audit KMA.
Our source did however indicate that Mr Murithi was bribed by PS Karigithu to remove her name from the audit report.
Mr Murithi was sacked and charged in the Arror-Kimwarer dam saga after accepting bribes to alter an audit report on KVDA.
Hence, the letter initially signed by SCAC boss Titus Murithi was never sent.
In June this year, Ahmed Mabrouq of Macho ya Baharia Lobby Group wrote to EACC boss Twalib Mbaraq over the procurement of new KMA headquarters land under tender No KMA/LAN/ ONT/005/2014-2015 overseen by PS Karigithu.
According to Mabrouq, the PS occasioned the government to purchase land for the HQ when Tile and Carpet Centre (TCC) sold KMA land that is still owned by Kenya Railways Authority.
She is paid to have paid Sh200 million for land valued at Sh150,000. The first 10 percent down payment was made on December 7, 2014 yet the contract was signed on December 23, 2014.