KPLC POWER WRANGLES

Citizen challenges Kenya Power MD's appointment in court

Woman sues KPLC board over appointment of new MD.

In Summary

Nyambura argues that Ngugi has integrity issues relating to the procurement of transformers when he was the General Manager Supply Chain.

She claims that Ngugi was affected by the presidential directive issued on June 1 2018 requiring public officers among them all heads of procurements and accounting units in Ministries and state corporations to step aside to facilitate fresh vetting.

Energy CS Charles Keter at past event. /FILE
Energy CS Charles Keter at past event. /FILE

The appointment of Bernard Ngugi as Kenya Power's new Managing Director  has been challenged in court.

Maureen Warui on Wednesday filed a case at the Employment and Labour Relations court seeking to suspend the Ngugi's appointment.

Warui argues that Ngugi has integrity issues relating to the procurement of transformers when he was the General Manager, Supply Chain.

 

“The appointment of Ngugi was done despite him formerly serving as the General Manager Supply Chain of Kenya Power, in which capacity he was actively involved, presided over and headed the office that oversaw an allegedly flawed procurement and tendering process for supply of transformers by MUWA traders,” reads court the court papers. 

Through lawyer Samuel Ndungu, Warui  argues that it defies logic and legal consideration how an officer directly involved in an impugned procurement process was cleared and subsequently appointed the substantive managing Director and CEO questions surrounding his involvement in the flawed process and integrity notwithstanding.

She claims that Ngugi was affected by the presidential directive issued on June 1 2018 requiring public officers among them all heads of procurements and accounting units in Ministries and state corporations to step aside to facilitate fresh vetting.

Nyambura wants the court to suspend the notice by the Board of Directors of KPLC appointing Ngugi as the Managing Director and CEO of the company and further restrain him from performing, acting and discharging the duties related or attached to the officer of the MD.

According to her, there is also ambiguity around how Ngugi was cleared by the EACC to vie for the public office at Kenya Power despite the pendency of active graft charges as defined by the Anti-corruption and Economic crimes act in court directly relating to his former docket and the lingering question on his suitability as a procurement officer in a state corporation as already highlighted.

Nyambura wants a declaration that the appointment of Ngugi to the position of Kenya Power Managing Director and CEO without considering the mandatory legal and constitutional process and principles is null and void.

“The recruitment and selection process was in fact anything but public or open and was marked by scanty or no information pertaining to the recruitment phase including on number of applicant and shortlisted candidates and lack of transparency in the interview and shortlisting process,” reads court documents.

 

She further wants the court to compel the Kenya Power Board to immediately and unconditionally make pubic details of the entire clearance and recruitment process of Kenya Power MD and CEO.

She has also questioned the fairness and impartiality of the selection process and in effect the suitability of Ngugi who was eventually announced as MD on October 29 this year.

“It is obvious and I believe that numerous insider vested interests were at play and orchestrated a scheme to retain control of the power utility firm by handpicking and appointing Ngugi and with the appointment control of multi-billion shilling power purchasing and token contracts,” she argued.

Nyambura believes that the best candidate did not get the job despite the great public trust involved.

She has accused the board and PSC of refusing and ignoring to make public information pertaining to Ngugi’s clearance from culpability following the purge against senior managers.