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Economy

MPs probe Uhuru pick of KWS director-general

John Waweru
KWS director-general John Waweru. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Parliament is opening investigation into the controversial appointment of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) director-general John Waweru by President Uhuru Kenyatta amid claims the hiring breached the law.

The appointment of Brigadier (Rtd) Waweru was announced through a State House notice in the middle of the hiring by the KWS board, which is mandated to guide the recruitment.

Parliament's Environment and Natural Resources committee started the investigations after Environment Principal Secretary Susan Koech differed with KWS vice chairperson Betty Maitayo on the process leading to the recruitment of Waweru.

“When the director-general was appointed by the President, we as the board of trustees were in the process of recruiting one,” Ms Maitayo said.

“When we discuss what is already done, it becomes complicated. The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act allows the board of trustees to have competitive recruitment process of the DG. But the DG was appointed and gazetted by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment on March 13, 2019.”

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He replaced Kitili Mbathi who resigned in July 2017 after serving for less than two years. Mr Kitili left in a huff after falling out with then chair of the board Richard Leakey.

Dr Koech argued the hiring was as per the law.

“Section II of the Wildlife Management and Conservation Act, 2015 prescribes that the director-general is appointed by the Cabinet Secretary in consultation with the KWS board of Trustees. This appointment was done as per the law,” Dr Koech said.

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