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Nairobi Hospital sends home top executives

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The Nairobi Hospital: The facility has had boardroom wars. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Dr Christopher Abeid, the director of medical services and research, and Benta Omonge, director nursing services, were replaced by Dr Aysha Edwards and Margaret Sirima respectively.

Nairobi Hospital has sent two top executives on compulsory leave, a signal that differences in the management ranks of the facility are yet to end.

In a memo signed by the newly-appointed CEO Allan Pamba, Dr Christopher Abeid, the director of medical services and research, and Benta Omonge, director nursing services, were replaced by Dr Aysha Edwards and Margaret Sirima respectively in changes that come months after the ouster of its board and sacking of Gordon Odundo, the chief executive.

The hospital declined to offer reasons behind the changes, asking the Business Daily to refer to its March 23 memo.

“The hospital is currently going through a transition and it is in this backdrop we wish to announce the following changes to the senior team effective immediately,” said Dr Pamba in the memo dated Monday, March 23, 2020.

“Dr Aysha assumes immediate leadership of TNH Covid-19 Task Force. Mrs Sirima will ensure the department fully supports Dr Aysha and the reconstituted Covid-19 Task Force.”

Dr Pamba took over as a substantive chief executive following the removal of Mr Odundo whose exit triggered a board room ouster. Mr Odundo was sent on a 90-day compulsory leave on December 15, 2018 after the board said in an unsigned and undated statement that the decision was to “allow completion of the ongoing forensic audit.”

He was sacked last April, paving the way for Dr Abeid to serve as acting CEO ahead of the appointment of Dr Pamba as the substantive head.

In November, the Nairobi Hospital’s shareholders voted in a new board following the ouster of eight of its directors.

In an extraordinary general meeting, the members of the Kenya Hospital Association — which owns the hospital — voted in Dr Irungu Ndirangu as the new chair of the board.

Dr Chris Bichage was elected the vice-chairman, while other members include Robert Shaw, Victor Miseda, Maxwell Odongo, Charles Amira, Charles Wambugu and Dr Stephen Ochiel.

The meeting that ousted the previous board went on as planned after the court dismissed an objection to remove the immediate former directors.

Some of the shareholders had accused the directors of poor oversight of infrastructure projects at the hospital, whose costs the petitioners said were inflated. They also claimed that the hiring of top executives was irregular and that the board had failed to file tax returns for eight years, exposing the hospital to penalties.