alexa After furore, CS Mucheru replaces dead man with his widow - Daily Nation

After furore, CS Mucheru replaces dead man with his widow

Friday October 18 2019

ICT minister Joe Mucheru

ICT minister Joe Mucheru during release of the Blockchain report by the Distributed Ledger and Artificial Intelligence Task Force at Teleposta Towers in Nairobi on July 25, 2019. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NATION REPORTER
By NATION REPORTER
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ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has replaced the dead man he had appointed to the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) with his widow.

In a special Gazette notice dated October 18, Mr Mucheru appointed Charity Kochalle to the office he had assigned her late husband Robert.

Not much is known about Mrs Kochalle and a search on Google brings up no information on her online presence.

The appointment came after days of public uproar that greeted the Gazette notice in which Robert was appointed.

Kenyans questioned the selection of a dead man at a time when the youth are upset by the continued appointment of the old guard to head State corporations and departments.

GHOST WORKERS

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Until his death on May 28, 2018, the former Laisamis MP had had a successful career in public service, his highest appointment being tourism and wildlife assistant minister.

But on Tuesday, Mr Kochalle was re-appointed to help regulate the film industry for three years alongside Gathoni Kung’u and Nereah Okanga.

The appointment exposed some of the many routes ghost workers take to land in the public service payroll — poor vetting or the lack of it.

Ghost workers are a big headache for both the national and county governments; President Uhuru Kenyatta and governors have struggled to slash the public wage bill that currently stands at over Sh700 billion.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

Mr Mucheru’s gaffe also raised serious questions on the quality of background checks nominees are subjected to before they are appointed to run government departments and agencies.

Ideally, Gazette notices are supposed to go through several stages of approval.

In this case the process would involve selection committees and lawyers at the KFCB and the Information, Communication and Technology ministry, as well as editors at The Government Printer who would go through the names.

The appointment also left the KFCB's chief executive Executive Mutua exposed to scrutiny considering the KCFB sponsored Mr Kochalle’s death and funeral announcement in June 2018.