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Ruto's chief of staff sides with PS against CS Alice Wahome

Felix Koskei orders suspension of Athi Water Works Development Agency CEO Michael Thuita

A collage of Head of Public Service and Chief of Staff Felix Koskei, Water CS Alice Wahome and PS Kiprono Rono

Felix Koskei, the Chief of Staff and Head of the Public Service, has called for the suspension of two chief executive officers (CEOs) heading key water development agencies pending investigations into alleged irregularities.

The move is part of the government's ongoing efforts to combat corruption within its ranks.

Koskei, in a press release issued by State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed on September 22, urged the board of the Athi Water Works Development Agency to suspend its CEO Eng. Michael Thuita.

Simultaneously, he called for the suspension of Eng. Samuel Oruma, the CEO of the Central Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency.

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The allegations under investigation involve irregularities in the awarding of tenders for several water projects executed by these agencies.

Specifically, the investigation centers on the construction of Ruiru II, Karimenu, and Kitui Matuu water projects overseen by the Athi Water Works Development Agency and procurement irregularities in the implementation of the Water Supply and Sanitation System for Bomet/Longisa/Mulot towns, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Central Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency.

The press release issued by highlighted his concern over the CEOs' remaining in office despite the gravity of the allegations and the significant resources involved in these projects.

By recommending the suspension of Eng. Thuita, Koskei seems to have sided with Water PS Kipronoh Ronoh.

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Earlier PS, Kipronoh Ronoh had advocated for Thuita's suspension, pending investigations into alleged corruption but CS Alice Wahome was not convinced that such a step was warranted, citing ongoing investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) as the reason.

The dispute became public following correspondence between CS Wahome and PS Ronoh.

In a letter dated May 24, 2023, EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak recommended Thuita's suspension to facilitate investigations into procurement irregularities in the award of tenders for various water projects.

However, CS Wahome responded on May 31, 2023, expressing her belief that the focus should be on investigating procurement irregularities rather than immediate suspension.

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In his latest communication, Koskei expressed worry about the inordinate delay in taking action by the respective boards of directors and the relevant ministry, as this delay threatens the government's broader mission to root out corruption.

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