Water agency board revokes Sang’s appointment as acting CEO

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Eng. Geoffrey Sang.PHOTO/COURTESY

National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) board Tuesday revoked the appointment of Eng. Geoffrey Sang as the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a dramatic move.

This followed a special meeting the board held via Zoom. Chairman Erick Okeyo said the board made a unanimous resolution to revoke Sang’s appointment and interdict him from the agency as a water engineer. The board appointed the Authority’s Chief Legal Affairs Officer Sharon Obonyo as the acting CEO.

“We sought the permission of the Cabinet Secretary and were allowed to hold a special meeting which resolved that his appointment be revoked. We have appointed an acting CEO for now,” he said.

He added the board cited the ongoing probe on Sang as the main reasons for the latest developments. An internal memo sent to the agency staff communicated the appointment of Ms Obonyo as the acting CEO.

“Please accord her support in the discharge of her new duties,” read the memo signed by Mr Okeyo.

Sang and other staff at the authority are under investigation over claims of corruption in the construction of a dam in Turkana. The move comes a day after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) refused to approve the charges against Sang and his four other colleagues.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had on Friday last week arrested Sang, the head of Human Resources Joseph Ojiambo, the acting head of Procurement Lydiah Korir and the Authority’s Senior Security Officer.

The four were on Monday taken to court by a team of detectives from the Serious Crimes Unit at the DCI headquarters over an alleged dam construction scandal.

However, the ODPP refused to approve the Charge Sheets and directed that the original police file to taken to Noordin Haji’s office for action. Sang was however, not present in court but his lawyer presented a letter from a doctor indicating that he had been hospitalized.

They were to be charged with a number of counts including abuse of office, conspiracy to defeat the execution of a written law, neglect of official duty, and breach of trust by persons employed in the public service.

The tender in question, valued at Sh231,114,402.64 was awarded to J&K Investment Kenya Ltd and was signed by Robert Kithinji on behalf of the contractor on March 26 and the NWHSA was represented by Eng David Gitau, the Authority’s Chief Engineer in charge of Construction.

In one of the charges preferred by the DCI, the CEO and the HR boss are said to have on February 28 facilitated the appointment of Lydia K Korir a Procurement Assistant to the Head of Procurement without following the HR management policies of the authority.

Police had raided the Authority’s offices along Dunga Road and collected a number of documents related to the tender.

The project situated in Turkana County, meant on the long term to foster peace in the resource-based conflict region, entails the construction of an 18m high dam made of clay core and shell materials. The tender was closed on February 12, 2020.