EACC stands in Mutunga way to big job

Friday, December 3rd, 2021 03:22 | By
Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu with her deputy nominee- Paul Mutunga Mutungi at KICC, Nairobi. Photo/PD/david ndolo

Nairobi deputy governor nominee Paul Mutunga Mutungi risks losing the seat after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) opposed his appointment.

Mutunga had previously served as a Director the Liquor Board and most recently, County Chief of Staff at the Nairobi County Assembly, before his nomination to deputise Governor Anne Kananu.

In opposing his appointment to become Deputy Governor (DG), EACC says Mutunga has an active court case, where he has been charged with stealing an estimated Sh68 million at the Nairobi County government.

The court temporarily suspended the swearing in ceremony after activist Okiya Omtatah challenged his eligibility to hold the office of the DG, given the ongoing corruption cases against him.

Integrity suitability

EACC maintains that its input was never sought for by the Nairobi County Assembly during Mutunga’s vetting.

Anti-graft body further contends that Mutunga, a one time councilor has violated Chapter Six of the Constitution which demands that the public officials must uphold integrity.

“It has come to the attention of the Commission that the County Assembly is considering approving the nomination of Mutunga for the position of DG-Nairobi without any reference to the commission regarding his integrity suitability pursuant to Chapter Six of the Constitution,” reads a letter from the commission’s Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak.

“The Commission wishes to bring to your attention that the nominee was charged in Milimani Anti Corruption Court file number ACC 8/2019 with corruption offenses committed in Nairobi County Government,” the letter, dated November 29, 2021, further states.

Mutunga was on April 29, 2019 alongside former governor Evans Kidero, former chief of Staff George Wainana and Nyakach MP Aduma Owuor among s others, arraigned over illegal payment of Sh68 million to M/s Wachira Mburu; Mwangi & Company Advocates.

They faced charges of conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption; unlawful acquisition of public property; abuse of office, dealing with suspected property and money laundering.

While Kidero was freed on a Sh10 million cash bail, Mutunga and other suspects were released on Sh4 million cash bail.

“In view of the above (charges), the Commission objects to the nomination of Mutunga as the DG and advises the assembly and the governor to reconsider the nomination,” Mbarak states in a letter to Kananu.

ananu, while proposing Mutunga for nomination to the job had stated that she had considered his leadership qualities and competence among other virtues.

It has emerged that Mutunga was appointed the Chief of Staff at the county assembly despite the fact that he had an active corruption case against him.

This was despite Justice Mumbi Ngugi’s ruling on July 14, 2019 ordering public officers, including governors charged with economic crimes, to vacate office for the duration of their trial.

Laid procedure

EACC investigations, Mutunga had a hand in the fraudulent payments of legal fees to Wachira Mburu, Mwangi and Company advocates which was made under the instructions of Aduma who was then the acting director of legal affairs.

Aduma is said to have instructed Steven Kariuki of Wachira Mburu/ Mwangi Company Advocates to act on behalf of the City Council in HCC No. 875 of 2010 Kyavee Holdings Limited Versus City Council of Nairobi without following the laid down procedure.

Kyavee Holdings Limited had filed a suit against Nairobi City Council at Milimani Commercial Court being HCCC No. 875 of 2010 seeking general damages of Sh3 billion, for loss of profit in respect of land (IR. 209/8254) which had been leased to them by defunct City Council on December 31, 1996 but later allocated to a third party who developed it.

Aduma allegedly directed that Sh68,761,000 be paid but an investigations by EACC established that Kyavee Holding Limited did not exist and therefore it had no legal capacity to sue.

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