Sacked Lapsset chairman Shaukat Ali Abdulrazak speaks out

By Ngumbao Kithi

Mombasa, Kenya: The Standard has learnt that President Uhuru Kenyatta sacked Prof Shaukat Ali Abdulrazak to create space for former head of the civil service Francis Muthaura to head the Lapsset Corridor Management Board.

Shaukat was removed from Muthaura’s new post in the same gazette notice in which the President appointed the former head of the Civil Service.

Shaukat’s contract was revoked on December 23 last year, only nine months after his appointment by former President Mwai Kibaki on March 1, last year.

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The reason for the revocation has not been stated and it is also not clear whether the board he chaired will be retained under Muthaura.

Muthaura’s appointment has caused anxiety in the Coast region where local leaders were expecting a native or immediate former Matuga MP Chirau Ali Mwakwere to be appointed to the post.

Muthaura’s appointment to the Sh1.2 trillion project has generated heat due to the anticipated lucrative tenders and jobs that will come with its implementation.

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Yesterday Shaukat told The Standard that he was removed from his post days after holding a two-week planning workshop in Mombasa that discussed the project.

The Standard has seen a copy of the gazette notice in which Shaukat was appointed by Kibaki and copy of Uhuru’s new appointment, which revokes Shaukat’s earlier posting.

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A copy of gazette notice number 2927 dated March 1, 2013 shows that Kibaki appointed Shaukat to Muthaura’s new post for three years.

Yesterday Shaukat declined to explain whether he knew why his appointment was revoked. But he suggested that reports that he would be replaced with Muthaura have made rounds for months.

“I’m well aware of the media telling us Mr Muthaura was about to take over the job of the Lapsset as the chairman. I have never discussed this matter until the Head of State appointed him to the job. I do not want to discus about this because the Head of State has the right to appoint anybody to any job,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said he never lobbied Kibaki to appoint him last year. “I was given the job due to my massive experience as a professor and did not lobby for the job,” he explained.

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Uhuru Kenyatta Shaukat Ali Abdulrazak Francis Muthaura