Raila steps into row over NSSF sacking
Posted Tuesday, September 2 2008 at 19:25
- The board is resisting the order by Labour minister John Munyes removing Mrs Lumbasyo.
- Marketing and public relations consultant Fred Rabongo appointed as the new acting chief executive.
- Muthaura on Monday sent Mr Munyes a letter disapproving the changes.
Prime minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday waded into the stand-off over the attempted removal of the National Social Security Fund managing trustee Rachael Lumbasyo.
The PM held a meeting with the NSSF board of trustees at his Treasury building offices in Nairobi in the latest bid to resolve the stalemate.
The Fund is the main retirement benefits scheme for majority of private sector and public service employees who are not yet covered under any other fund.
The board is resisting the order by Labour minister John Munyes removing Mrs Lumbasyo, who has, on instructions of the board, remained in office.
The board has been backed in defying the minister by Public Service head Francis Muthaura.
Mr Munyes last week announced that he had sent the managing trustee on 90 day leave pending her retirement to pave way for investigations into the management of the national pension fund.
He also announced the appointment of an outsider, marketing and public relations consultant Fred Rabongo, as the new acting chief executive.
Although details of the meeting between the board and the Prime Minister remained scanty, it is understood that Mr Odinga wanted the matter resolved as quickly as possible.
A news conference to brief the media on the outcome of the meeting at the PM’s office was cancelled at the last minute without explanation.
Members of the NSSF board include chairperson Mrs Jane Mwangi, secretary Mr Said Chitembwe, Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, Ministry of Labour PS Mrs Beatrice Wasike, and Mr Patrick Obath and Mrs Jacqueline Mugo, the Federation of Kenya Employers chairman and chief executive respectively. Other are Mr Cornelius Nyang’un, Mr Mutula Kilaka, and Jumaa Makopa.
The Prime Ministers’ intervention comes a day after the NSSF board met and resolved to reject the changes announced by the minister.
Mr Muthaura had on the same day, Monday, sent Mr Munyes a letter disapproving the changes.
Earlier Tuesday morning before meeting Mr Odinga, some members of the NSSF board of trustees maintained that their decision to reject the removal of Mrs Lumbasyo still stood.
Mrs Lumbasyo had only last year won an award for changes she had introduced at the fund. After a special meeting to deliberate the matter on Monday, the NSSF board termed the ministers action as “irregular and untenable, contrary to good corporate governance.”
They accused Mr Munyes of acting unilaterally in the appointment of the Fund’s chief executive in contravention of Section 33(1) of the NSSF Act.
“The minister failed to follow the due process ... Mrs Lumbasyo will therefore remain in office until due process is followed,” said board chair Mrs Mwangi.