Mr Okiya Omtata
The Kenya Power Company, a parastatal under the ministry of energy, has capitulated to a court case filed by a human rights activist who had challenged its reappointment of a cheif executive officer above sixty years of age contrary to legal regulations. The corporation's board today announced that Ben Chumo was leaving the company. The announcement also marked the halt of an apparent losing battle Kenya Power had lodged in court in defence of Mr Chumo's reappointment.
“The Chairman of the Kenya Power board of directors Kenneth Marende will announce the new acting managing director of the company this afternoon following the exit of its current CEO, Ben Chumo,” the company had said in a brief to the media early today, before finally unveiling an acting managing director, Mr Kenneth Tarus, who will take over Mr Chumo's position while a substantive successor is recruited through a competitive process.
Activist Okiya Omtata had filed the case last year to block Mr Chumo's reappointment on the basis that the CEO had grossed age 60 at which public officers are required to retire. The activist had said there was "absolutely no basis" for Mr Chumo to continue in the position. By getting go of Mr Chumo, the activist told the Kenya Free Press, Kenya Power realised it was fighting a losing battle.
"We are happy they have smelled the coffee and stopped their misdirected court battle. The law has now been vindicated and it applies to all public agencies, not just Kenya Power," said Mr Omtata, adding that after the current victory, he would now go after all public officers above the age of 60. "They are many and we are coming for them. The law must apply to the peasant and prince equally," he said.