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Deception alleged in Mang’eli saga

Friday September 18 2009

Kenya Bureau of Standards managing director Kioko Mang’eli Photo/WILLIAM OERI

Kenya Bureau of Standards managing director Kioko Mang’eli Photo/WILLIAM OERI  

By OLIVER MATHENGE

Embattled Kenya Bureau of Standards boss Kioko Mang’eli has been accused of falsifying information to justify a huge salary raise.

Public Service head Francis Muthaura said that last year Dr Mang’eli, who was earning Sh480,000 monthly, made an application to the State Corporations Advisory Committee for a salary of Sh1.07 million, saying he had turned Kebs’ fortunes around.

He allegedly claimed that when he took over in 2006, the organisation had a deficit of Sh300 million which he transformed into a surplus of Sh1.6 billion in 2007/2008.

But, according to Mr Muthaura, an independent audit shows that Dr Mang’eli’s information was misleading.

Mr Muthaura said the Controller and Auditor General had subsequently qualified the financial statement.

Details of Mr Muthaura’s allegations are contained in a confidential brief handed to President Kibaki and Prime minister Raila Odinga, a copy of which Saturday Nation has seen.

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Dr Mang’eli has also been accused of presenting a false job evaluation report to support his case for the salary increase.

When the Industrialisation ministry presented Dr Mang’eli’s application to the State Corporations Advisory Committee, which approves pay increases for parastatal heads, the committee declined, saying Kebs was a non-profit regulator and that the financial information used to justify the increase contradicted audited accounts.

Consequently, the committee reportedly asked the ministry to do a professional evaluation of the CEO’s job to determine if Dr Mang’eli’s application was justified.

On July 14, 2009, Kebs presented the evaluation report to the State Corporations Advisory Committee and, according to Mr Muthaura, this turned out to be a “a cut and paste job” clearly showing that no evaluation had been done.

Even more damning in Mr Muthaura’s brief is the accusation that Dr Mang’eli continued to earn a salary from his previous employer months after he was appointed Kebs CEO. Mr Muthaura said after joining Kebs on September 1, 2006, Dr Mang’eli continued to work at Techno Circle Ltd.

The State Corporations Advisory Committee had asked for salary slips from his previous employer, and according to Mr Muthaura’s brief, they indicated that he had continued to work for his former employer up to December 2006.

A letter from the advisory committee to Industrialisation PS John Lonyangapuo casts doubt on the authenticity of the payslips.

But as the committee was still scrutinising Dr Mang’eli salary slips and job evaluation report, Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey went ahead and not only approved a new salary of Sh1.07 million, but backdated it to September 1, 2006.

Other allegations made by Mr Muthaura against Dr Mang’eli include frustrating the board’s audit committee in its attempts to investigate several cases of attempted fraud and irregular staff recruitment.

He says that eventually, the appointment of all members of the audit committee were revoked in May this year.

Mr Muthaura’s brief also catalogues several other charges against Dr Mang’eli, including what he says is “disregard for authority”.