A Nairobi based Human Rights and Governance activist has questioned the inclusion of what he terms as graft tainted individuals for appointment to the position of secretary / Chief Executive Officer in the Huduma Kenya Secretariat.

According to Hezron Lawi who is the concerned activist, the list released by the State Department for Public Service is suspect and meant to appoint a corrupt individual to the highly rated office.

He argues that majority of the 9 shortlisted candidates have a tainted history in public office .

He singled out Benjamin Kai Chilumo who served as the Chief Finance Officer in Kilifi County.

Kai is among the four candidates shortlisted for the interviews scheduled for Tuesday, 18th April 2023. Others shortlisted for the interviews same date include Abdullahi Hassan Maalim, Rachael Musyoki and Timothy Mabeta Kambuni.

The activist says that he fears Mr Benjamin Kai could likely land the job considering that the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action comes from Kilifi.

“There is an urgent need to raise the red flag now considering the history of this country where nepotism is the order of the day and we have seen this even in the appointments made by the President,” he says in part of his statement.

He adds: ” Mr Benjamin who served as a Chief Officer Finance in Kilifi presided over massive looting of public resources and there is enough evidence to prove this,”

He says that Mr Benjamin is to blame for the loss of Sh51 million from the county government account back in 2016. The county government then reportedly lost Sh1.2 billion meant for construction of 206 modern centres.

The money was allegedly siphoned from the Kilifi County main account at the Central Bank of Kenya through the Intergrated Financial Management System and internet banking.

“All this happened when he was the Chief Officer in the finance department yet he tops the list of those shortlisted for such a lucrative job,” part of the statement adds.

Kai served as the Chief Officer between 2015 to 2021 during the tenure of Governor Amason Kingi who is now the speaker of the senate.

Other accusations leveled against him include his collusion with other top officers to defraud the county through monopoly in the procurement system.His dealings with notorious and suspect ghost suppliers have also been flagged.

One of his key ally who is popularly known as Esther P. Thongori commonly referred by many as Hadassah and a beneficiary of suspect multimillion tenders has also adversely been mentioned as part of the people who worked closely with Mr Benjamin to defraud the county.

She was awarded a tender to construct a central stores building which was to house a warehouse and head of procurement office.

The building was never finished to satisfaction of the engineer as per bill of quantities and contract.

The activist says he has also asked the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission to investigate the matter and make appropriate recommendations.

Kai vied for senatorial in Kilifi county on Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) party ticket.

Other people shortlisted for the job are Joshua Achiya, Martin Mugambi, Patricia Wanjiru,Tom Nyagare and Martin Mutuiri.


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