Revealed: How plot to oust KPA MD Mturi was hatched and executed

Acting  Managing Director Dr  Daniel Manduku (Left) receives a file of documents from KPA Board Director Mr Michael Maina in the MD’s office at the KPA headquarters. PHOTO/KPA
TIMELINE
Ø May 23, 2018: Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Manifest Management System (MMS) fails.
Ø May 24, 2018 Principal Secretary Transport and Infrastructure Prof Paul Maringa arrives at Mombasa Port accompanied by Kenya Railways Managing Director Athanas Maina.
Ø May 25, 2018 Trade and industry Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed accompanied by the Proprietor of Focus/ Interpel  CFS  Faisal Abbas arrives at the port and orders containers be taken to Container Freight container Stations (CFSs) contrary to a presidential order.
Ø May 26, 2018 Head of Marine Operations Capt William Ruto issues an advertisement in local dailies over cargo clearance through CFSs without MD’s approval
Ø May 28, 2018 East African Affairs Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya visits Mombasa Port says he wants an explanation on cargo delays
Ø May 30, 2018 KPA special meeting held and suspends MD Mturi
 By PATRICK MAYOYO
newsdesk@reporter
Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Catherine Mturi , who was suspended by the Board over alleged incompetence was removed from office through an intricate web of deceit and conspiracy our investigations can reveal today.
On May 30, 2018, the KPA board of directors announced that it had sent Ms Mturi on compulsory leave over incompetence and theft of containers at the port.
Dr Daniel Manduku formerly of National Construction Authority (NCA) was appointed as new MD in an acting capacity by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Mr. James Macharia.
However, details have emerged that suggest there was a conspiracy to oust Ms Mturi from office by powerful forces who wanted to influence multi-million tenders coming up, influence from container freight stations operators, queries over billions of shillings collected as freight charges by Kenya Railways from Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from lifting of containers from Mombasa port, a plot to control KPA’s more than Sh 60 billion pension schemes and the port payroll and revenue payment system.

Ms Mturi has raised queries on millions of shillings collected by Kenya Railways (KR) as freight charges from January to March 2018 which was supposed to be banked in a joint KPA/KR account but was never banked. Nobody knows how much money was collected by KR and where it was banked.

It also had to be noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that all goods destined for upcountry from Mombasa port should be transported by SGR yet a decision was made to take goods to Container Freight Stations (CFSs) against Ms Mturi’s approval after three-day cargo clearance delays caused by a breakdown of Kenya Revenue Authority’s Manifest Management System (MMS).

Transport Principal Secretary Prof. Paul M. Maringa I who chaired the KPA board meeting that suspended Ms Mturi contrary to media reports that it was chaired by Director Mr. Michael Maina. PHOTO/KPA
The alleged board meeting that suspended Ms Mturi did not meet the legal threshold of a board meeting and it lacked the requisite quorum as required by law. The special board meeting was chaired by Prof Maringa although the media was briefed that Mr Maina chaired the meeting.
The suspension of the KPA MD took place at a time when the parastatal’s board was not duly or properly constituted according to documents seen by this paper.

The term of KPA chairman Major (Rtd) Marsden Madoka, expired on April 17, 2018 following his appointment on April 17, 2015. The terms of four other board members Messrs Stephen Okedi, Hafswa Dele, Fred Kirui and Kennedy Ogeto (now Solicitor General) expired on April 21, 2018 as per their appointment of Gazette Notice number 2906 for a period of  three years dated April 21, 2015.

Interestingly, Mr Ogeto attended the KPA board meeting that suspended Ms Mturi and appointed Dr Manduku, a fellow Kisii as acting MD as alternate KPA director representing the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki.
However, according to the KPA list of alternate directors, Mr Alex Mbuvi, a Deputy Chief State Counsel in the AG’s office is supposed to hold brief on behalf of the AG.
It is even not clear how, Mr Humphrey Muhu, attended the board meeting that suspended Ms Mturi, yet the designate alternate director for Treasury is, Ms Esther Koimett.

KPA directors who attended the meeting that suspended Ms Mturi. From Left: Mr. Humphrey Muhu, representing CS National Treasury,Prof.Arch.Paul M Maringa (Principal Secretary,Transport, Dr.Arch.Daniel Manduku, KPA Acting Managing Director,Mr.Michael Maina KPA Director,Mr.Valentine Mwakamba KPA Director,Mr.Kennedy Ogeto,Sollicitor General representing Attorney General,Eng.Maxwell Mengich representing MD Kenya Railways Corporation, Ms.Addraya Dena KPA General Manager Board and Legal Services and Mr. Titus Muriithi-Inspector General State Corporations. PHOTO/KPA
Kenya Railways Managing Director, Mr Athanas Maina, did not attend the KPA board meeting, he was instead represented by Mr Maxwell Mengich, whose letter to attend the meeting was dated May 30, 2018 contrary to the law.
For an alternate director to attend a board meeting, the concerned entity needs to be alerted at least seven days in advance. Only the term of two KPA directors is yet to expire, that of Mr Valentine M. Mwakamba who was appointed on December 4, 2017 and Mr Michael Maina, who was appointed on December 4, 2015.
Mr Maina is the son of Mr Maina Kamanda, former Starehe MP and  the former chairman of the parliamentary committee on Transport. The special board meeting was chaired by Prof Maringa although the media was briefed that Mr Maina chaired the meeting.
It is not clear if Ms Mturi has been sacked or suspended because she refused to resign as demanded by the ad hoc board and did not sign a letter given to her in that respect.

Those conversant with developments in the charged meeting say Ms. Mturi demanded to know the legitimacy of the board meeting and reasons why she was to resign yet  a few weeks ago the Board had appraised her, given her a nod of approval on the Performance of the Port  and  recommended a salary increment for her.

This came at the back of the world’s largest container shipping company Maersk on 16th April 2018  engaging the services of a full block freight train to ferry cargo from the Port of Mombasa via the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi.
Noting that transportation of cargo by rail saves time, with the train taking an average of eight hours to arrive in Nairobi, Kenya Railways Business Commercial and Operations Team leader Mr. James Siele applauded Maersk for the continued support towards the rail freight services. Mr Siele at the same time commended the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) for efficiency and timeliness in cargo handling from the vessel to the marshalling yard, saying this was a key ingredient necessary for ensuring train schedules are strictly adhered to.
 

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