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How a typo cost KBC acting MD his job

Former KBC acting MD Samuel Maina issues apology

KBC acting MD Samuel Maina

The acting Managing Director of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), Samuel Maina, was sacked on Tuesday, December 19, after ICT CS Eliud Owalo said he made an unauthorized payment offer of $5 billion for settling a long-running dispute with Dubai's Channel 2.

According to Maina, the figure should have been Sh5 billion as was instructed by the ministry, and not $5 billion as indicated in the letter.

Maina has apologized to the ministry, terming the error as a "grievous misrepresentation of the figure quoted” and went on to withdraw the letter with the USD figures.

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The dispute between KBC and Channel 2 dates back to 2009 when KBC terminated a joint venture agreement with Dubai-based businessman Ajay Sheth, owner of Channel 2 Group.

Channel 2 and Sheth argued that KBC terminated the deal without notice in 2009, costing the businessman billions in foregone profits and expenses sunk into the joint venture.

CS Owalo on Tuesday 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.

The ministry described the action by Maina as a "total disregard of earlier instructions" given to the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation on the matter.

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

  • The appointment of Samuel Maina as acting Managing Director has been terminated with immediate effect.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Board of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation has been directed to expedite the process of recruiting a substantive Managing Director for the corporation.

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