Judge stops CS Keter from renewing Chumo’s tenure as head of Kenya Power
Activist Okiya Omtatah says extension of term is irregular as the CEO is past his retirement age as required by law, wants position declared vacant
A judge yesterday stopped the renewal of Kenya Power and Lighting Company CEO Ben Chumo’s contract.
Justice Nelson Abuodha, of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, said Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter should not act on a letter sent to him by the KPLC Board, seeking to consider Chumo for another term.
The judge issued the orders following an application by activist Okiya Omtatah, who says Chumo’s tenure is “irregularly being extended”.
“The respondents, whether by themselves, their employees or agents, are hereby prohibited from acting or giving effect to the letter by the chairperson of the KPLC to the CS dated July 11, seeking authorisation for the Board to proceed to consider Chumo’s application for extension of tenure,” the order reads.
In a letter dated June 12, Chumo, who has served at the helm since 2014, requested the Board of Directors that he be allowed to serve another three-year term to take effect from January 7 next year.
The Chairman of the Board, in another letter, informed Keter a meeting held on June 29 deliberated on and resolved to seek authorisation from him to proceed to consider Chumo for another term
But Omtatah says having been born on July 11, 1956, Chumo should have vacated office on July 11 this year, upon attaining the government’s mandatory retirement age of 60 years. He says unless the court intervenes, an illegality will occur.
“The government’s policy on the retirement age is clear and the Board has no option but to enforce the law,” Omtatah says, adding that the irregular retention of the CEO beyond the mandatory retirement has blocked the advancement of other deserving Kenyans.
The activist wants the court to overrule the intended move and, instead, order the KPLC to immediately terminate Chumo’s tenure, declare a vacancy and proceed to appoint his successor. The case will be heard on December 3.
President Uhuru Kenyatta (holding a girl) shares a light moment with Mzee Parsayian ole Sadera and his family in Olngenchemi village, Narok North, during the launch of the Last Mile Connectivity project in Narok county on August 12. Uhuru was accompanied by KPLC CEO Ben Chumo (gesturing) and Energy CS Charles Keter (right)