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CS Owalo sacks KBC acting MD over Sh769 billion blunder

The appointment of Samuel Maina as KBC acting Managing Director has been terminated with immediate effect.

KBC acting MD Samuel Maina

Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy has issued a directive terminating the appointment of Samuel Maina as the acting Managing Director of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

The decision comes in the wake of a controversial commitment made by Maina to pay $5 billion (Sh769 billion) in the LCIA Arbitration No. 122233: Channel 2 Group Corporation versus Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

The Ministry expressed dismay over the commitment made by the acting Managing Director without seeking the necessary approvals from key government entities, including the Ministry itself, the National Treasury, and the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice.

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ICT CS Eliud Owalo described the action by Maina as a "total disregard of earlier instructions" given to the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation on the matter.

In response to the situation, CS Owalo, issued a directive outlining the following measures:

  1. The appointment of Samuel Maina as acting Managing Director has been terminated with immediate effect.
  2. Samuel Maina is required to proceed on suspension immediately, and the Board of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation is instructed to institute disciplinary action against him.
  3. Paul Macharia, currently serving as the Communication Economic Expert at the National Communications Secretariat under the Ministry, has been appointed as the new Acting Managing Director.
  4. This appointment is effective from December 19, 2023, for a period of six months or until the appointment of a substantive Chief Executive Officer in accordance with section 34 of the Public Service Commission Act, No. 10 of 2017.
  5. The Board of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation has been directed to expedite the process of recruiting a substantive Managing Director for the corporation.

The sudden shakeup at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation raises questions about the decision-making process and financial commitments made without due consultation with relevant government bodies.

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The commitment to pay $5 billion (Sh769 billion) in the ongoing arbitration case has triggered concerns about financial implications and potential ramifications for the public broadcaster.

Mr. Eliud Owalo, in his directive, emphasized the need for proper governance and adherence to instructions given to government entities.

The move to appoint Mr. Paul Macharia, an experienced professional within the Ministry, is seen as an interim measure to stabilize the leadership of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation during this critical period.

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