EACC to challenge reinstatement of Ketraco boss

EACC to challenge reinstatement of Ketraco boss

10:04:2024: The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is headed to the Court of Appeal to petition against a judgement of the High Court reinstating Eng. Anthony Tawayi Wamukota, the General Manager for Design and Construction at Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO).

Eng. Wamukota is among six senior officers whose suspension Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, Mr. Felix Kosgei ordered on 16th November 2023 for alleged involvement in corruption and procurement irregularities within their respective institutions.

Mr Wamukota was suspended for alleged procurement irregularities related to the construction contract of the 400KV Loiyangalani Power Project.

The directive for their suspension came from recommendations by EACC, which is investigating them.

Other officers under investigations by the EACC and suspended together with Eng. Wamukota include Tanathi Water Works Development Agency CEO Eng. Fredrick Mwamati. He is under investigation for procurement irregularities in the award of a tender for the construction of a Leather Industrial Park Water Supply Project. Mr Stephen Ogenga, Director-General of the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) who is under investigation for alleged procurement irregularities in the award of a tender for supplies.

Mr Stanvas Ong’alo, the Ag. Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya, being investigated for alleged embezzlement of Kes490 million through irregular payments. Mr Benjamin Kai Chilumo, the CEO of Huduma Centre Secretariat being investigated for alleged corruption when he served in the County Government of Kilifi as Chief Finance Officer. Esther Wanjiru Chege, an accountant at the institution at Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) under EACC radar for alleged conflict of interest and possession of unexplained wealth, and Peter Gitaa Koria, the CEO/GM of Bomas of Kenya, for alleged procurement irregularities in supplies for the institution.

Eng. Wamukota moved to the Employment and Labour Relations Court on 5th July 2023 and asked the Court to, among others, declare his suspension irregular and illegal and hence null and void. He also asked the Court to direct KETRACO, the first respondent in his petition to unconditionally revoke his suspension, reinstate him and pay him any pending salaries allowances and benefits accrued to him while on suspension.

In yesterday, 8th April 2024’s judgement, the Court agreed with nearly all the petitioner’s prayers. Essentially, the Court declared Eng. Wamukota’s suspension illegal and therefore null and void, revoked his suspension and ordered for his reinstatement and resumption of duty. It also ordered KETRACO to pay him any pending salaries, allowances and benefits accrued to him while on suspension.

The suspension of Eng. Wamukota and the other five senior officials of the various Government institutions was crucial in safeguarding the integrity of the ongoing investigations. His reinstatement could set a precedent in the remaining five cases and beyond. This has the potential to impede the nation’s ongoing battle against corruption.

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