NAIROBI, KENYA: Nyali Member of Parliament Mohammed Ali had rough time in seeking answers from former Kenya Power Managing Director Ben Chumo over corruption allegations over economic crimes allegations and abuse of office at the Kenya Power.
Chumo was on Monday morning appearing before Parliamentary Finance Committee to be grilled over his quest to become the Chairman of Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
It was not lost in Mohammed Ali’s mind of the corruption allegations facing Chumo and other top Kenya Power managers.
“Mr. Chumo I can see that you are a presidential nominee to the position of SRC Chairmanship and you have been to Kenya Power Compnay, the Company that is said to have fleeced Kenyans a lot of money through corruption,”
“You are in court on corruption charges and you have the full guts to be in front of us to demand the SRC job and yet you have not settled your issues in court,”
But before Ali finished asking his question his fellow legislatures reminded him of house standing orders ordering him to be orderly.
“Mheshimiwa Ali, you see this is a House of order and we must be orderly and we must ask questions according to our Standing Orders.”
Chumo, the current CEO Ken Tarus and his fellow executives at Kenya Power are accused of entering into a contract with a private firm for the supply of transformers, which turned out to be faulty.
Prosecutors said this deal also flouted procurement rules for state entities. The officials are currently out on cash bail of Sh1million and were asked to deposit their travelling documents to the court.
Chumo however in his response during the Monday vetting told the committee that the corruption matter facing him is complex and maintained that the transformers in question were procured in 2011/2012 when he was in human resource department and not the power utility Chief Executive Officer.
“I became the CEO of Kenya Power in 2013 and I was not even in the procurement committee during that time. This matter has challenges but I am not casting aspersions about procurement of transformers at KPLC in 2011/12,” Chumo said.
Dr Chumo, who has a doctorate degree in human resource management from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has been supervising postgraduate students in the same university.
If approved by Parliament as Salaries and Remuneration (SRC) chairman, Chumo will be walking into a job that not only befits his human resource management doctoral degree, but also into a fire pit.
If successful, he would have to contend with a fresh push by MPs to increase their salaries and allowances.