At the dusk of Monday evening, Ezra Chiloba was suspended from his job as the Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). The employees at CA learned of Chiloba’s suspension through an internal memo that announced his replacement.
The internal memo by board chair, Mary Mungai, communicated the suspension on Monday following a board meeting. Mary Wangui communicated that Christopher Wambua will be taking over from Chiloba as Acting Director General.
“Following a meeting of the Authority’s Board held on 18th September 2023, resulting in the suspension of the Director General, I am pleased to inform all staff of the appointment of Mr Christopher Wambua as a Director General in Acting Capacity effective today until further notice. I trust that you will accord him the necessary support,” the memo read in part.
What has been a puzzle to most Kenyans is the reason as to why Ezra Chiloba has been phased out of regulator. It is also unfortunate enough for Chiloba that he was also previously axed from his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in October 2018. The suspension from CA sums up Chiloba’s hapless experience working in government corporations.
Chiloba was initially meant to serve for a renewable period of four years.
Following his pre-mature, unexplained suspension, Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications, has come out to say that he will be probing the decision to suspend Chiloba.
Speaking on Citizen TV, Kisiang’ani said that he had not been apprised of details prompting Chiloba’s dismissal and will be engaging the CA board to establish the grounds upon which the decision was made. Given that Kisiang’ani is part of the Ministry (to which CA reports to), he needs to be able to know what is happening at CA.
In his defence to not knowing the fine details involved in Chiloba’s dismissal, the PS said that the ministry does not micromanage every institution that falls under the communication umbrella.
“The ministry does not micromanage the state corporations, they have their own boards, chairmen and other board members who make decisions almost on a daily basis but finally the ministry gets a report,” he said, “the oversight is done by the board and once they realise that it is a mistake, they take quick decisions which now are communicated to us at the ministry level.”
Kisiang’ani further said that there were allegations of irregularities within the mortgage scheme which is part of the oversight which the board had been working on. He, however, could not confirm that these allegations were the reason the board decided to suspend Chiloba because the process had not been concluded.
“I will see the details which forced them to take that decision and I have the authority also to reverse if I think that it is not done in the right way but for now, we need guidance from the board to give us the details,” he said.
There could be a pint of hope for Chiloba to secure his job at CA, but the fact that the Ministry has to probe the decision first faints that hope. It is all a puzzle that no one could solve at the moment, the Ministry which was supposed to have the answers does not have them.