Just before dust settles after Kahawa Tungu‘s investigative desk revealed how senior management at the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) was stealing public money, details of how the institution has been turned into a family affair by the head of the Human Resource department Mr Julius Olayo have emerged.
In a letter written by a section of employees to the State Corporations Inspectorate Committee and seen by this desk, Olayo has been hiring and protecting his relatives and friends at the expense of other staffers.
One instance is recorded to have happened in the Financial Year 2016/2017 when a Dan Jerenga, while acting as the transport officer for the Authority upon the retirement of one Junias Otiti, received an imprest of Ksh 200,000 for fuel and other motor vehicle incidental costs.
To account for the money, he presented fake receipts as proof of expenditure. Later, it was discovered through Internal Audit that in part of his surrender, he presented fictitious payment receipts as proof of expenditure for purporting to have fueled NITA’s motor vehicles which were discovered as grounded at the time.
When this matter was brought to the attention of the management, Dan Jerenga was silently moved from the Transport docket to Administration and the matter ‘rested in peace’. No disciplinary proceedings were brought against him because of a family relationship with Olayo.
In June 2018 the HR department led by Olayo is said to have been involved in a hiring scam where board members rewarded their surrogates.
The Management in conspiracy with a section of the NITA Board and HR adopted the results of a psychometric/aptitude test and proceeded to issue appointment letters for successful candidates.
There was also leakage of interview questions to certain candidates and it was well perfected by one Eric Owino who again was centrally engaged in this exercise before his exit from the Authority to Kenya Film Commission.
To make it worse, there was monetary exchange between Olayo and some prospective employees. “We are aware of monetary exchange between Mr Olayo and prospective candidates for employment in the Authority,” reads the letter, obtained by Kahawa Tungu.
Before being erroneously promoted to the HR department, Mr Olayo was in the Finance Department where he influenced the award of tenders to some companies, with hefty kickbacks.
“We have raised serious issues against Mr Olayo and the Manager, Supply Chain on the manner in which they conspired and influence the award of Group Medical Insurance through deceit and manipulation of the tender evaluation and award process. A similar award for FY 2016/2017 lead to a complaint by CIC Insurance because Mr Olayo and then Head of Finance conspired to award the tender to AAR Insurance in exchange of a huge kickback in millions of shillings,” adds the letter.
The department under Olayo has also gone rogue, firing employees at will without following the due procedure.
Kahawa Tungu learns that in the October 12, 2017 case where 10 employees were fired, only two managers were present, Mr Olayo and a Teresa Mukora.
However, the minutes from the disciplinary hearing of December 12, 2017 indicate signatures of persons who were in reality absent. Irene Ogamba and Patrick Masinde who purportedly signed the minutes of the hearing were actually attending to other matters at Kenya School of Government.
As if that is not enough, Ernest Nadome would later go in public to shamefully announce in celebration the dismissal of ten employees during the Authority’s end of year party 2017.
The board showed the dismissed employees the middle finger by instructing a casual employee to email and notify the affected employees of their dismissal letters.
Following several complaints being anonymously launched with the board and the ministry, Mr Olayo has resorted to profiling employees suspected of whistle-blowing. According to the letter, Olayo is using his junior employees for spies to instill fear among other staffers who complain of the rot at NITA.
Some board members are also accused of usurping the management role of the director general. The employees give an example of one Mr Ernest Nadome who is using his position to influence/coerce the management to recruit his relatives and ‘social friends’ (read concubines).
The employees are however afraid that their complains will never be addressed, following the well-knit cartel of family members and friends at NITA.
“We have reliable information that any communication to NITA on employee concerns from other state agencies including one of the substantive Minister for Labour and Social protection are not responded to but filed away. A recent example is the Minister’s letter dated 22nd June 2017 on ‘abuse of office, procurement fraud alert & accusations against Julius Olayo’. The institutional rot within the Management of NITA will not make a response to this letter because of entrenched impunity,” concludes the letter.
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