Nairobi Hospital sacks embattled CEO Gordon Odundo

Wednesday March 18 2020
By KITAVI MUTUA

Nairobi Hospital has sacked its suspended Chief Executive Officer Gordon Otieno Odundo with immediate effect.

In an internal memo on Wednesday, board chairman John Simba said the decision to terminate Dr Odundo's contract was unanimous and that it followed "consideration of all the relevant factors pertaining to the office".

Dr Simba said the board would begin the process of finding a replacement but that Christopher Abeid would serve in acting capacity.

He appealed to staff to remain focused, professional and committed during the transition.

COMPULSORY LEAVE

Dr Odundo was sent on a 90-day compulsory leave on December 15, 2018, the board saying in an unsigned and undated statement that the decision was to “allow completion of the ongoing forensic audit.”

The day before, the CEO stayed put in his office for hours as a lawyer camped outside to deliver a suspension letter.

Photos of the Dr Odundo's office locked with a huge chain emerged at the premier city hospital as an embarrassing boardroom fight spilt over to the public.

CRISIS

The extension of Mr Odundo’s suspension added a new chapter to the crisis threatening to tear apart one of East Africa’s most advanced hospitals that has been at war with itself since November 2017.

At stake is the control of billions of shillings in tenders for projects and the staggering revenue the hospital generates on an annual basis.

At the time, sources at the hospital said the audit in question ought to have been done as it covered the 2013-16 period, partly when former Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopas Mailu was the chief executive.

Also at the centre of the intrigues was the sacking of two senior administrators.

In March, a letter from Dr Simba to the embattled chief executive said the management had decided to extend the suspension to April 13.

CHOLERA

The male worker died on Tuesday morning after what his colleagues said was "a short illness."

Sources at the hospital on Tuesday told the Nation that at least 23 cases of the water-borne disease, eight involving staff, had been treated at the facility in April alone.

The hospital's cafeteria was closed indefinitely.