MPs reject Ben Chumo for SRC job as Kajuju lands Ombudsman post


Fomer Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

National Assembly Committee on Finance has rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nomination of Dr Ben Chumo as chairman of Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

In its report tabled in the House on Wednesday morning, the committee says its decision was based on integrity issues raised against the nominee.


At the same time, the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs has okayed the nomination of Ms Florence Kajuju as the chairperson of the Commission on Administrative Justice.

MPs have also nodded to the nomination Mr Washington Opiyo Sati and MS Lucy Ndungu as members and asked the House to approve their appointment.

In its report, the Committee on Finance wants the House to reject Dr Chumo’s nomination on the account that he failed the test set out in in Chapter Six of the Constitution and the Leadership of the Integrity Act.

Dr Chumo is facing criminal prosecution over economic crimes committed during his tenure as the CEO of Kenya Power and the committee says that makes him unsuitable for the SRC job.

It further notes that as the chairman of Egerton University Council, Dr Chumo had not stepped aside even after he was charged alongside 18 others.

The 19 faced charges of abuse of office, conspiracy to commit an economic crime and failure to comply with procedures and guidelines relating to procurement.

DCI report

“The committee considered how provisions of section 62 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes would affect the nominee, as it requires that a public officer who has been charged with corruption or economic crimes should be suspended. Therefore, the nominee, if approved, would find it difficult to take up the position,” the reports states. 

The committee says although Dr Chumo submitted a certificate of good conduct dated May 15, 2018, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations did not provide adequate information on the nominee upon request.

The committee further notes that should Mr Kenyatta’s nominee be approved, there is potential conflict of interest.

This is because Dr Chumo is still serving as the chairman of universities council, even though he had promised to resign if he is appointed to SRC.

Separately, the Justice and Legal Affairs committee, in its verdict, said Ms Kajuju is suitable for the Ombudsman job because of her academic credentials and professional training.

It also cites her experience, and that she meets the requirements of section 10 (1) and (3) of CAJ Act.