Details emerge why CS Wamalwa suspended the irrigation board

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Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa during a past event. PHOTO| COURTESY

The now suspended National Irrigation Board (NIB) seems to have been triggered by the board’s apparent move to defy a directive by Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to reinstate the suspended senior staff.

In a letter dated May 12th, 2016 written to CS Wamalwa and seen by Citizen Digital, NIB chair Sammy Letema stated that the board would remain on suspension even as they await the hearing and determination of a case before court regarding the suspension.

In the letter, Latema intimates that fighting corruption within the institution was an uphill task especially when it involves entrenched cartels.

“But there comes a time when an institution is more important than an individual,” read the letter in part.

Latema insisted that the NIB  would not condone corruption and that they had no room for misconduct from any of their officers.

“The era of procurement impropriety and financial mismanagement where some cases of 10% of the project money is used for actual work and 90% cannot be accounted for cannot continue to happen under the watch of this board,” read the letter.

“The President is clear that any officer who has allegations made against him on corruption must step aside and allow for investigations to be done. NIB should not be an exception to the rule,” continued the chair.

In the letter, Latema indicated that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission |(EACC) had already launched investigations on the suspended officers.

Speaking during a press conference at Maji House on Thursday, CS Wamalwa said that NIB will not condone corruption, boardroom wars, and sideshows and that he had already appointed Mr Gitonga Mugambi to act as the General Manager pending the reconstitution of a new board that will take over the management of the institution for the next three months.

On April 25th, 2016, Wamalwa instructed the board to reinstate the three officials who had been suspended on 21st April on account of misconduct and financial mismanagement saying that the suspension did not follow due process.

This came at a time when the dissolved board had invested in a multi-billion shilling Galana-Kalulu irrigation scheme which seeks to irrigate one million acres in a bid to emancipate the country from dependency on rain water for agriculture.

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