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Ex-County Secretary thrown under the bus over appointment of director

By Daniel Chege | October 30th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Former Nakuru county Secretary Joseph Motari in court when he appeared before Principal Magistrate Bernard Mararo on January 9, 2020, at Nakuru Law court to answer alleged abuse of office charges. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Nakuru County Public Service Board did not approve the former County Secretary's decision to appoint the Director Department of Environment, Natural Resources, Energy and Water.

Former chairperson of the Board Waithanji Mutiti told Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Usui that the appointment of Johnson Kamau as Director of Water didn’t follow the due process.

He was testifying against former County Secretary and Head of Public service Joseph Motari who is charged with abuse of office.

Motari is accused of illegally hiring Kamau as the Director in the Department of Environment, Natural Resources, Energy and Water on February 24, 2016, without authority from the board.

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Motari who is the current Director of Administration in the Ministry of Public Service Youth and Gender denied the charges and is out on a surety bond of Sh500,000.

However, in his testimony, Mr. Mutiti maintained that the appointment of Kamau did not follow the laid recruitment procedures of the board.

“The board didn’t delegate its mandate to promote any officer as the Director administrator in the Department of Environment, Natural resources, Energy and Water,” said Mutiti.

He testified that the board doesn’t have minutes promoting Kamau to the position of director administrator Group R in the department.

“I don’t recall having a director from administration in the department, I am not aware if his appointment was approved and I don’t recall his interview,” he said.

Mutiti testified that Motari signed the letter of appointment of Kamau, but the board didn’t authorize the appointment.

According to the county PSB Human Resource Manual of 2013 formulated by the Public Service Commission, the board is mandated to conduct the promotion of officers at the county.

Mutiti said that Job Group R which Kamau was promoted to is a competitive senior cadre and a specific process has to be followed in promoting and appointing officers.

He noted that first, the department must show that they have the budget and vacancy for those positions. Then the department must forward the request to the board. Upon receipt, the board advertises the vacant positions internally, he testified.

“Prospective applicants will then apply for positions after which a normal recruitment process of long-listing, shortlisting and interviews will be conducted.

He said that the board will then issue promotion letters signed by the secretary to the board to the successful applicant upon interviews.

“From the records held at the county, the board didn’t promote Kamau to the position of the director administrator in the department of environment, natural resources, energy and water. All of the processes to the promotion were not followed," he said.

Asked if the board commenced the corrective procedure of demoting Kamau after discovering that he didn’t satisfy the process for his promotion, Mutiti said that they didn’t.

The court noted that the board has the mandate to recruit, promote, discipline and dismiss any public servant.

The court also heard that the board can delegate its mandates to certain officers but the delegation must be in writing.

The trial will continue on December 15, 2020.

Nakuru County Corruption
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