A parliamentary committee on Finance and National Planning has rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nominee for the chairman of Salaries Remuneration Committee (SRC).
Ben Chumo, a former Kenya Power boss suffered another blow on Wednesday when the committee released a memorandum indicating held that he was unsuitable to be appointed as the chairperson of SRC.
The committee, however, noted that Dr Chumo had the right academic and professional qualification for the job but did not make the cut on ethical and integrity grounds.
“Having considered the suitability, capacity and integrity of the nominee, and pursuant, the Committee recommends that the National Assembly rejects the nomination for appointment of Dr. Ben Chumo as the Chairperson of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission,” read part of the report.
The Joseph Limo led committee highlighted the following reasons as to why Chumo was rejected:
The committee said Chumo did not meet the requirements of the Leadership and Integrity Act by the fact that he was on July 16, 2018 charged in the Anti-Corruption Court.
The ex-Kenya Power boss alongside other top managers of the company were charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of economic crime through fraudulent acquisition of faulty transformers.
The parliamentary committee also noted that the former Kenya Power boss failed to step aside from his position as Chairperson of the Egerton University Council despite being charged with corruption and economic crimes.
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Chumo was appointed by the then Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i in March 2017 as the new chair of the Egerton University Council.
The Committee also considered how the provisions of Section 62 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act would affect the nominee, as it requires that a public officer who has been charged with corruption or economic crimes should be suspended. Therefore, the nominee if approved, would find it difficult to take up the position.
But appearing before the Finance and National Planning committee on Monday, Chumo while seeking an approval to chair SRC had told the legislatures that he does not consider himself rich though he is not on the street and can comfortably support his family of four.
He said the charges could have been a ploy by his enemies to deny him opportunity to serve in SRC.
Dr Chumo appeared before the Committee for vetting on July23, 2018.
He holds a PhD in Human Resource Management (2013) from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, a Masters of Business Administration (2006) and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Social Sciences in 1984 from the University of Nairobi. He also has an honorary PhD by Egerton University.
The House Committee also appreciated that Dr Chumo has a wealth of experience both in management and executive roles having worked at the Kenya Power & Lighting Company Limited (KPLC) from 1989 to January 2017, rising through the ranks to the position of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on 7th January, 2014.
The committee also noted that no member of the public had submitted memorandum for against the suitability of Dr Chumo for the job although a public invitation to do so had been mace according to the law.
On the procurement of faulty transformers for which he and top Kenya Power managers are in court, Dr Chumo told the committee he was neither the CEO nor a member of the procurement committee during the stated period.
Other accusations related to the payment of the contractor, he submitted that he had left KPLC by the time the payment was made.