Mutemi saved from losing MCK board job

Thursday, April 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Tabitha Mutemi.

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

Members of Parliament yesterday saved Tabitha Mutemi from removal as a board member of the Media Council of Kenya.

Lawmakers lobbied colleagues to reject the National Assembly ICT Committee report that had recommended her ouster.

Recommendations were on the basis of a petition to have Mutemi, also the Communications manager at the Electoral Independent and Boundaries Commission, ousted for breach of the Constitution by holding two public offices.

Petitioner, Muriuki Muriungi, said Mutemi should not continue holding the two offices, arguing the Constitution restricts full-time State officers from participating in any other gainful employment.

But yesterday, MPs Robert Mbui (Kathiani), Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Sabina Chege (Murang’a Women Rep) and Nominated MPs Godfrey Osotsi and David Sankok urged the House to reject the report on grounds that it was malicious. Mbui told the House to stop wasting time dealing with non-issues, since there is no problem with Mutemi being an MCK board member.

“We do not have time to sit here and discuss malicious and minute issues. We ought to use our time well,” he said.

Chege termed the ouster motion as malicious, saying Mutemi’s position in the board was not a formal employment.

“It is not fair for this House to deal with an issue that was dealt in a malicious way. This position was advertised and those who were shortlisted gazetted.” 

Osotsi, a member of the ICT Committee chaired by William Kisang (Marakwet West), said  he had prepared his own minority report objecting the committee’s resolutions.

“I gave my dissenting opinion on the basis that we have procedural gaps that ought to have been addressed.

Some of the issues I raised are that the committee ought to have given the accused a chance to defend herself but it did not. In fact, the decision of the committee was only done in two hours,” said Osostsi.

Dissenting opinion

Sankok, who also termed the report as malicious, said rather than Mutemi being punished, the ICT Cabinet Secretary is the one who should have been reprimanded for gazetting her name that  he knew very well was unprocedural.                

Only Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo supported the committee’s resolution to have Mutemi kicked out.

Amollo argued that Mutemi should go owing to the fact that both the office of the Attorney General and that of IEBC had raised concerns over her continuous stay at MCK as well as the electoral commission. 

“This is a question of principles. Do we want one person to hold two public offices and draw salaries from public funds?” he asked.

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