Seventeen top Kenya Power (KP) managers on suspension have been offered Sh300 million to voluntarily terminate their contracts.
The managers, who are fighting graft charges in court, have each been offered between Sh16 million and Sh21 million, tax free. The company has offered to bear all tax costs.
The latest offer is a follow up to another made in April which the managers turned down. They had then been offered Sh200 million.
The company, through board chairman Mahmoud Maalim, wrote to the officials last Friday asking them to consider “mutual termination of their employment.”
“In view of the above and after careful consideration, the board would wish to extend to you its final offer on mutual separation, without prejudice to the legally recognised avenues through which separation of employment can occur,” stated one of the letters.
“Please note that the agreement shall be final with no further claim accruing against either parties,” states the letter.
Sources within KP told The Standard that a number of the managers have accepted the offer.
“They are getting a good deal. The least one will take home will be Sh16 million tax free,” said a senior official at Kenya Power. However, according to the sources, those opposed to the offer insist on clearing their names first before quitting. The managers face charges related to suspected irregular tendering for purchase of transformers. The more than Sh408 million transformers are said to be substandard.
They also face more than six other counts, including committing economic crimes, abuse of office and conspiracy to defeat justice.
Those affected are former Managing Director Ken Tarus, Company Secretary Beatrice Meso, Joshua Mutua (General Manager Commercial Services), Abubakar Swaleh (Human Resources and Administration), Samuel Ndirangu (ICT) and Peter Mwicigi (Regional Coordination).
Others are Stanley Mutwiri, General Manager Infrastructure Development, Benson Muriithi, General Manager Network Management and Peter Mungai Kinuthia, the General Manager Business Strategy.
Also affected is the acting General Manager Finance Harun Karisa, General Manager Daniel Tare and Acting General Manager Supply Chain Daniel Ochieng’ as well as Chief Accountant James Muriuki.
Others are managers Noah Ogano Omondi and John Mwaura Njehia and two tender committee members Bernard Githui Muturi and Evelyne Pauline Amondi.
They have all pleaded not guilty and are under suspension on half pay until their cases are completed.
The board suspended them on July 17, 2018.
Maalim previously argued in his letter that the company took into account the cordial relationship it has enjoyed with the affected managers during their years of service.
The June 7 offer letter is a follow-up to March 25 one titled, “Separation by mutual agreement” urging the managers to consider early retirement.
Cabinet Secretary (CS) Charles Keter yesterday said the company would continue engaging the managers on the offer.
He said the managers are innocent until proven guilty, and that they still held crucial dockets in the company.
He also clarified that KP officials currently holding the positions of the suspended managers are doing so in an acting capacity.
He said the positions cannot be filled when the affected managers are still on suspension and that the ministry is keen to follow all legal procedures in its engagement with them.
“They are on half salary. We cannot advertise for the same positions. It is a very delicate balance,” said the CS.
According to the CS, the power firm cannot fire the suspended managers or hire new ones until the entire legal process is completed.
“We must first clear with the managers before we can recruit. We will keep on talking to those who are yet to accept the offer,” he said.
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