Francis Muthaura’s New Job Causes Outrage

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muthaura-insideMeru, Kenya: Meru MPs are outraged by the appointment of former civil service chief FrancisMuthaura as the head a multibillion rail, road and port project in Lamu.

The MPs accused President Kenyatta of ignoring their pleas to have “fresh faces” from the region appointed to the public service.

They are also livid that the President has ignored hosting them at State House, Nairobi, even as the crisis about the UK ban on miraa raged.

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The chairman of the Meru Parliamentary Group, Mr Mithika Linturi, told The Standard that he had called a meeting of all lawmakers from the county to review their relationship with the Jubilee government following the “recycling of retirees” to a key parastatal.

“President Kenyatta has continued to recycle the old Kibaki orphans such as Muthaura and (Titus) Ibui, without addressing what the people of Meru have been telling him. He has continued to brew a lot of disinterest and unhappiness with the leadership of the Meru region,” said Linturi.

TSC crisis

The MPs from the region are still angry that President Kenyatta rejected Lydia Nzomo as the chairperson of the Teachers Service Commission.

Nzomo, a former boss at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (previously known as Kenya Institute of Education) comes from the region. She topped the interviews for the job, but the President rejected her name and picked Kiragu wa Magochi. The MPs rejected Kiragu’s name and sent the list back to the Head of State living the TSC in a limbo.

“The President and his deputy must know that there’s trouble in Meru and we’re not happy with these appointments. We gave him our best person for TSC, but he rejected her. Now he has decided to recall people from retirement,” said Linturi

The rage with the Head of State comes just a day after a Legal Notice was published with a list of 26 parastatal chiefs set to take office next year, among them Mr Muthaura. Muthaura is the Jubilee government’s pick for the LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority—the body that steers the development of a new port in Lamu and a pipeline, a railway and a roads to South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Titus Ibui is the new chair of the Kenya Leather Development Council Board.

Linturi said Muthaura’s long tenure in government and his proximity in the conception and early development of the Lamu Project should not be used as an excuse to recall him from retirement.

Reject appointment

“Lapsset is so young a project. It is still a baby. It requires someone who is strong; someone who can run around; Muthaura should be retiring now,” said Linturi.

The Meru MPs’ boss said they had not talked to Muthaura with a view to having him reject the appointments, but that, their view was that “because of his advanced age and health, he should leave that position to someone else.”

Linturi noted that the Head of State had turned a deaf ear to the vote-rich region even as they battled an impending ban on miraa in the UK.

“The President doesn’t appear to have our interests at heart. In the miraa crisis, we tried to meet him, but he completely refused to meet us. He never helped us. We filed cases in London without his assistance,” said Linturi, the MP for Igembe South constituency.

Miraa is big business in Meru and the mainstay of the region’s economy. A threat to it, threatens the political leadership, and the MPs noted the silence with which State House treated the proposed UK ban.

– The Standard

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