EPZA set to get substantive chief executive after three years


Workers at an export processing zone factory. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The board of the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) has proposed the appointment of Ezekiel Owuor Otieno as the new CEO after nearly three years without a substantive head.

Mr Otieno emerged top, beating two other shortlisted contenders, Orumoi Jonah and Adan Noor in the interview held on Tuesday last week.

The agency board has struggled to recruit a ceo since Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya axed Fanuel Odede Kideda as the EPZ chief executive in September 2018 and named George Makateto to replace him.

The appointment was however stopped by the courts after Mr Odeda sued against his dismissal.

Stephen Odua was then appointed Ceo in acting capacity and was replaced last year by Henry Obino who also took over on a temporary basis.

“The board recommends to the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation Trade and Enterprise Development, the appointment of Ezekiel Owuor Otieno as the substantive ceo of the Export Processing Zones Authority having attained the highest average score of 85.5 percent which was above the threshold adopted by the board,” an internal memo by chairman Paul Gicheru reads.

EPZ authority had been riddled by scandals including a Sh1.3 billion tender inflation claims where 13 companies received hundreds of millions of shillings for goods and services that were never supplied, while other contracts were awarded to firms associated with board members and top government officials.

Top officials at the authority were also accused of significantly varying prices of projects, even after 90 per cent and 97 per cent of the contract sums had been paid for the works. Water meant for the firm was also sold to outsiders at the expense of manufactures.

Some officials were sent home including three managers — Tom Soigwa, general manager, commercial and technical services, Benta Omollo, general manager, finance and administration, and Maria Ouya, corporation secretary.