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

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Judiciary - CA­ROLE MAINA @MainaCa­role

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.

/VIC­TOR IMBOTO

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)

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