A series of disagreements between Devolution CS Ann Waiguru and the chairman of the National Youth Enterprise Development Fund chairman Gor Semelango led to the sacking of the chairman last week. Flamboyant!
A Kenya Gazette notice dated 7 April announced Semelango’s replacement by music producer Bruce Odhiambo.
Semelango yesterday said he had not been formally notified of the changes.
“I suspect the gazette notice may have been sent to the government printers by the CS Ann Waiguru who has been operating as a Prime Minister without consultation with the President who has been away,” he said.
Disagreements between the two came to head when Semelango shot the CS a protest letter to seek an apology from madam Waiguru for embarrassing him during a meeting between the youth fund board and Waiguru held at Harambee House on 25 February 2014.
“I wish to put on record that I was not satisfied by the conduct of the proceedings as the agenda was not clear and what transpired was that you were not sure of The Youth Enterprise Development Fund mandate thus leading to suspicion that the chairman in particular had acted outside the fund’s mandate,” Semelango said in his letter dated the same day.
“Let the record show that the chairman was not informed of the specific areas of the mandate that have been violated. Further, it seems the main purpose was to threaten the chair with removal from office as uttered by yourself in the presence of the few board members and other officers.
“You have on several occasions issued such veiled and direct threats on my sacking without any provocation or reason only invoking your personal closeness with His Excellency the President. In one of the meetings held at your Treasury offices in the presence of one of your many advisers, you inquired about my ethnicity, asked who appointed me and that President Kenyatta needs to reconsider the same.
“Given the President’s pronouncements on the need for a united Kenya devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity among other discrimination, I ignored your threats and your continued intimidation with the firm belief that my performance will determine my retention as had been stated by the president to all public officers,” Semelango said.
“I wish to state that as a result of this meeting, I wish to seek a written apology for causing me an embarrassment before my board members and our officers and a clarification as to how best the chair should execute the mandate without undue distraction that will not be beneficial of our government and the young people of Kenya. I wish to put on record that I took great exception to the condenscending manner in which the chair was handled in the presence of his officers,” he said.
The letter, copied to Chief of Staff and head of the civil service Joseph Kinyua and the secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia is said to have annoyed the CS who demanded his removal through the gazette notice.
Semelango yesterday said he would establish if the President who is the appointing authority gave the go-ahead for his sacking.
“In the unlikely event that it was done by the President, it would be naive to question his wisdom since I was serving at the pleasure of the President and would sincerely want to thank him for the opportunity to serve the youth for that period. I can only wait for him to come back so I can get to know the truth because I have not received any letter sacking me,” he said.
Sources at the fund said the CS had been unhappy with Semelango making trips abroad, and had sent him a letter dated 20 January 2014 in respect of foreign travel clearance for heads of parastatals and departmental heads.
Semelango had replied seeking clarification on whether the directive referred to non-executive chairmen of state corporations who wished to undertake private foreign trips.
The CS had also written a memo dated 27 January 2014 directing the Youth Fund to stop its public functions.
“I refer to recent media reports covering launches of various activities by the fund and your specific requests for engagement of His Excellency the President on some of the launches. I wish to direct you to ensure that these launches are suspended forthwith until otherwise advised,” the CS had responded.