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Parliament to intervene in MCK dispute over Tabitha Mutemi’s appointment to the Board

Ms Mutemi was appointed to the MCK Board in 2019

Media Council of Kenya Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo Omwoyo

The National Assembly Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation could intervene to help settle the Media Council of Kenya dispute over the appointment of Tabitha Mutemi as a member of the MCK Board.

The committee chaired by Marakwet West MP William Kisang’s intervention could come after Ms Mutemi’s lawyer Kethi Kilonzo, wrote to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, asking that parliament probes the management of MCK.

In the letter, she accused MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo of irregularly removing Tabitha Mutemi from the board and misuse of public funds, which the dismissed board member had raised queries about.

We write to implore you as the lawful offices and officers charged with the removal of any member of the MCK board, to use your offices and your powers under the MCK Act to reverse the unlawful action,” reads part of the letter from Kilonzo and Company Advocates.

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This comes after the Media Council of Kenya CEO wrote to the council’s Board Chairman Maina Muiruri and notified him that the secretariat would not recognize Mutemi as a board member due to the fact that she still holds another job as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s Corporate Communications Manager.

The secretariat will no longer recognize Ms. Mutemi as a board member of the Media Council of Kenya with immediate effect,” read part of the letter by David Omwoyo.

A source privy to the matter disclosed that Ms Mutemi raised some queries on the misuse of funds at MCK which has put her at loggerheads with some officials.

The source further adds that there has been a question of recruitments, with some officials said to be influencing the process.

ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng sought an advisory opinion from the Office of the Attorney General regarding the appointment of public officers to the Media Council Board, and in response, the AG’s office issued the same communication provided by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua in his 2016 letter, further quoting the IEBC Act of 2011 which advises against the same.

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ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru appointed IEBC Corporate Communications Manager Tabitha Mutemi alongside other journalists to serve as Board Members of the Media Council of Kenya via a gazette notice in October 2019.

Tabitha's appointment has, however, had her engaged in a scuffle with the MCK Secretariat, which argues that her appointment did not adhere to a directive by the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service barring all state officials and public servants from holding any other office in state Parastatals.

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