The national forester has today made sweeping changes in its top management, sending some officers on compulsory leave as others step aside for investigations.
This comes amidst a storm in Kenya Forest Service, with some officers being accused of abetting illegal logging.
Kenya Forest Service Board chairperson Peter Kinyua, in a statement, on Tuesday said he had appointed Monica Kalenda as chief forest conservator, taking over from Mr Emilio Mugo, who has been asked to step aside for investigations.
"Following the discussion that has been going on in the country and the observation that my board has made during the past one and half years we have been in the office, the …changes are necessary for the sector to run smoothly," Mr Kinyua said.
Ms Laura Yego will take over as acting corporation secretary after her predecessor, Ms Esther Keige, was sent on compulsory leave.
Mr John Mburu will be the new head of procurement and supply, taking over from Mr Victor Kariithi Kobia who has been asked to step aside for investigations.
In other appointments, Mr Esau Omollo is the new senior deputy chief forest conservator whee he will be assisted by Ms Charity Munyasia while Mr Patrick Kariuki is the deputy chief conservator in charge of farms and drylands.
Mr Alexander Lemarkoko will henceforth serve as the acting head of administration and human resources as Mr Wilson Oleleeboo takes over as the acting commandant while Ms Anastasia Muasya will be the acting head of finance.
In addition to the aforementioned changes, Mr Ezakiel Korir has been appointed as the acting head of plantation and enterprise division, Mr Josephat Ingaji acting manager, corporate services, and Ms Lucy Kiboi is the new acting senior manager support services.
On the regional front, Ms Mary Mwai has been appointed as the new head of conservation in the Eastern, Mr Fred Ogombe will serve in the same capacity in Mau Conservancy while Mr Samuel Gitonga Ihure will head the Central Highland Conservancy.
"We have already disciplined the other officers who have been adversely mentioned," said Mr Kinyua.
The changes come just two days after Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko ordered for the replacement of forest officers serving in Kibiku, Ololua, Thogoto and Ngong Road stations following reports of massive destruction of forests.
Mr Tobiko also ordered immediate suspension of the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Implementation Scheme within the four forest stations pending an independent status assessment.
He directed Kenya Forest Service to start rehabilitating the affected forests, including replanting of indigenous trees.
“At KFS we are committed to ensuring that Kenya achieves a more than 15 percent forest cover by the year 2022 by leading efforts to plant more than 170 million trees in the next five years and the management changes are geared at providing impetus,” Mr Kinyua said.
Additional reporting by Galgallo Bocha and Brian Okinda.