Crisis grips film classification board over graft allegations

By James Anyanzwa

A former Chief Executive of the State-run Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) is on the spot over allegations of abuse of office through irregular procurement.

However, David Pkosing, who resigned last month, to pursue political interests, has dismissed claims of wrongdoing, saying his dealings were above board.

However, the board’s parent ministry told The Standard that Pkosing was under investigation in connection with irregular purchase of digitisation and media broadcasting equipment worth millions of shillings.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications Bitange Ndemo said the ministry had sent a team of auditors to probe the alleged dubious dealings at the corporation.

Handing over

“He resigned and went to run for elections without following the standard procedures for civil servants. He did not inform us. He just handed over to a very junior fellow and then left without informing anyone. I got suspicious and that is the reason I needed investigation,” Ndemo said in a telephone interview.

Ndemo explained that he has sent a deputy secretary, Onesmus Mutua, to take over the management of the corporation, pending appointment of a CEO by the KFCB board.

“I sent one of my officers there just to sit in. The board is supposed to find a replacement in the normal way,” said Ndemo.

The PS also affirmed that the corporation would not release any dues owed to Pkosing until the investigations is completed.

“The investigations have to be completed before we release any money we owe him as gratuity,” said Ndemo.

However, when contacted, Pkosing denied the allegations saying that his resignation was procedural.

Pkosing said he had written a resignation letter, which he handed over to the KFCB chairman Peter Alubale for deliberation and board approval.

Board approval

“I wrote a letter to the chairman, which he presented to the board and the board approved the staff to take over from me,” said Pkosing. 

He added, “the staff I handed over to is the senior most in the institution and he was given the responsibility by the board.”

“The law is very clear my employer is the Kenya Film Classification Board of which the PS is a member,” he said.

PKosing also denied his alleged involvement in irregular procurement, saying the digitisation machine did not exist while the media broadcasting equipment was acquired four year ago.

“I don’t procure on behalf of the Ministry of Information. That digitisation machine is not there,” he said.

KFCB is one of the oldest State corporation established in 1963, as a statutory body to examine and classify films meant for public exhibition, broadcast or distribution in Kenya, and to ensure the content conforms to national aspirations, morality, and decency, and public order.

Like all other countries, Kenya seeks to protect minors from unsuitable content. The board also examines and classifies films into varying categories, according to age suitability.

This is besides ensuring that other kinds of objectionable materials capable of inciting civil disorder is reduced or eliminated all together.

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