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MPs recommend removal of Tabitha Mutemi from MCK board

By Moses Nyamori | March 30th 2021
Tabitha Mutemi (Left) with lawyer Kethi Kilonzo. [David Njaaga, Standard]

A parliamentary committee has recommended the sacking of poll agency Communications Manager Tabitha Mutemi as a board member of the Media Council of Kenya (MCK).

National Assembly ICT Committee chaired by William Kisang (Marakwet West) made the decision in a report tabled in the House yesterday.

“Taking into consideration the findings of the committee in its report regarding removal of Tabitha Mutemi from the board of MCK. This House recommends removal of Tabitha Mutemi as a member of the Media Council of Kenya,” said Kisang.

The recommendations by the committee was on the basis of a petition to have her removed for gross misconduct and in breach of the Constitution by holding two public offices.

The petitioner, Muriuki Muriungi, said that Mutemi should not continue holding the two offices arguing that the constitution restricts full-time state officers from participating in any other gainful employment.

“By knowingly taking up appointment as a member of the MCK Board while on full-time employment at the IEBC, Mutemi acted in violation of the Leadership and Integrity Act which restricts full-time state officers from participating in any other gainful employment,” reads the petition.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had last week also said that it was not consulted about the appointment of Mutemi to the board.

In a letter to Parliament, IEBC indicated that it will consider taking disciplinary action against the employee at an appropriate time.

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According to IEBC Act, members and employees of the commission are prohibited from holding other public offices during their tenure of office with the commission.

Early this month, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto said that Mutemi's continued stay in office was in contravention of the law and IEBC Acts.

Ogeto cited provisions of the Act that prohibit an employee of the electoral agency from holding any other public office.

“IEBC prohibits its employees from holding any other public office when still serving the commission,” said Ogeto.

ICT Principal Secretary Esther Koimett made also told the committee that the ministry had advised Mutemi to make up her mind about the two positions as she could not continue holding both.

“The holding of both offices of an employee of the IEBC and a member of the Media Council of Kenya by Mutemi is a violation of the Constitution and other statutes requiring immediate remedial action,” Koimett said.

“The ministry, in a letter dated September 16, 2020, advised Mutemi that she could not hold both positions and should decide by September 30, 2020, either to remain an MCK Council Member or IEBC employee,” she added.

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