BOARDROOM WARS

MCK's Mutemi now wants action taken against CEO Omwoyo over abuse of power

Says decision by the CEO to remove her as a council member was a breach of law.

In Summary

• Mutemi said the law on appointment and removal of a board member was not followed as provided for by the Media Council Act.

• She narrated how she got an email on January 22, 2021, at 4.43 pm and by 8.49 pm she had already been removed from the board's group WhatsApp as well as the mailing list.

IEBC Communications Manager Tabitha Mutemi (left) and her lawyer Kethi Kilonzo before National Assembly ICT Committee on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
IEBC Communications Manager Tabitha Mutemi (left) and her lawyer Kethi Kilonzo before National Assembly ICT Committee on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
Image: LUKE AWICH

IEBC Communications Manager Tabitha Mutemi has now asked Parliament to take action against the Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo for alleged abuse of power.

Mutemi said the decision by the CEO to remove her as a council member was a breach of law.

Speaking on Wednesday when she appeared before the National Assembly ICT Committee chaired by William Kisang, Mutemi said the law on appointment and removal of a board member was not followed as provided for by the Media Council Act.

"I appeal to the Committee to take action on the unlawful removal. I find the action by Omwoyo unlawful," Mutemi said.

"I pray that this should not be allowed to happen in your watch. This is an abuse of power. If this can happen to a board member what of the Secretariat staff ?"

She narrated how she got an email on January 22, 2021, at 4.43 pm and by 8.49 pm she had already been removed from the board's group WhatsApp as well as the mailing list.

Mutemi also explained that despite the IEBC code of ethics prohibiting its staff from getting engaged in another government body, the same she noted did not apply to part-time engagement.

Mutemi was accompanied by her lawyer Kethi Kilonzo.

Also present at the sitting were CEO Omwoyo, MCK board chairman Maina Muiruri, KEG chairman Churchill Otieno, KUJ Secretary General Erick Oduor and Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) chairman Oloo Janak.

Earlier, the IEBC said it will take action against Mutemi for violating the staff code of ethics to take up a position as a board member at the MCK.

In a statement, Chairman Wafula Chebukati acknowledged that Mutemi was an IEBC employee but said they were not consulted on her appointment.

"IEBC was neither consulted nor notified of Mutemi's employment as a board member of MCK," he said.

Chebukati said MCK  is at liberty to take appropriate action in accordance with relevant laws and procedures governing the council.

"The commission will undertake action at an appropriate time in accordance with the IEBC Act and HR manual," he said.