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CS Joseph Ole Lenku unhappy with John Mututho’s running of NACADA

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By C Ombati | February 2nd 2014
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku. [PHOTO: STANDARD/FILE]

By CYRUS OMBATI

NAIROBI, KENYA: Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku has warned Nacada chairman John Mututho to stop running the authority like his private business.

Lenku said he was not happy with the manner in which Mututho has been publicly talking about the affairs of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse with an aim of shaming other board members.

He said he will convene a meeting Monday to dress down the chairman and other board members on their mandates at the authority.

“It seems the chairman does not know his mandate and I intend to inform him and other board members of what their roles are. He is not involved in the daily running of Nacada,” said Lenku.

Speaking to the Standard, the minister said if there are problems bedevilling Nacada, they should be solved amicably and not before cameras.

Lenku said Mututho’s moves seem to have different agendas and warned him to desist or else he will take unspecified action.

Mututo has differed with some Nacada board members on calls to force chief executive officer William Okedi to step aside to pave the way for investigations over alleged malpractices that led to the loss of Sh400 million at the agency.

The divisions have surfaced at a time when there’s an ongoing investigation into the loss of the money in what Mututho, has called book-keeping fraud.

At a news conference held at the offices of the on Friday, Mututho revealed that the board was divided on the fate of Okedi.

Some of the board members wanted the top officers at Nacada’s secretariat suspended to pave way for the audit, while the majority said the audit had to go on with the serving officers in office.

“Six out of the eight board members were of the view that agency bosses stay in office as the auditing goes on,” Mututho said.

After the appointment of Mr Mututho as the board chairman, Dr Okedi agreed to an audit of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Fund after claims that Sh400 million had been embezzled.

However, the exercise has been resisted with allegations that Mr Mututho wants to influence the outcome of the process.

The board ordered for an audit of all the 296 districts where Nacada operates following claims of embezzlement.

Mututho said the embezzled funds include money collected from bar licences across the country as well as millions returned to Nacada by districts, but which cannot be accounted for.

However, Okedi assured the public and board members that none of the top officials will interfere with the audit reports that will be carried out by the internal auditors.

“Board members have resolved that the audit exercise will continue even while we are still in the office and that the auditors will do their work independently without interference from any board member,” Okedi said.

Mututho added that the board was not comfortable with three of the 12 members of the audit department that have been appointed by the office of the Auditor General to investigate the authority’s missing fund and so they should be dismissed.

Mututho and the chairman of the audit committee, Fazul Mohamed, want Dr Okedi and his top managers including the finance officer, to step aside to allow for investigations, but some board members are opposed to the idea.

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