The electoral agency communications Manager Tabitha Mutemi has asked Parliament to take action against the Media Council of Kenya chief executive officer Mr David Omwoyo for alleged abuse of power.
Mutemi told the National Assembly ICT Committee chaired by William Kisang that the decision by Mr Omwoyo to remove her as a council member was a breach of law, adding that the law on appointment and removal of a board member was not followed as provided for by the Media Council Act.
“I pray that this should not be allowed to happen in your watch. This is an abuse of power. If this can happen to a board member what of the Secretariat staff. I appeal to the Committee to take action on the unlawful removal. I find the action by Omwoyo unlawful?,” Mutemi said.
Accompanied by her lawyer Kethi Kilonzo, Ms Mutemi narrated how she got an email on January 22, 2021, at 4.43 pm and by 8.49 pm she had already been removed from the board’s group WhatsApp as well as the mailing list.
She further told the William Kisang led committee that despite the IEBC code of ethics prohibiting its staff from getting engaged in another government body, the same she noted did not apply to part-time engagement.
During the petition hearing, Mr Omwoyo, MCK board chairman Maina Muiruri, Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) President Churchill Otieno, Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) Secretary General Erick Oduor and Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) chairman Oloo Janak were present.
Earlier, the IEBC said it will take action against Mutemi for violating the staff code of ethics to take up a position as a board member at the MCK.
In a statement, Chairman Wafula Chebukati acknowledged that Mutemi was an IEBC employee but said they were not consulted on her appointment.
“IEBC was neither consulted nor notified of Mutemi’s employment as a board member of MCK,” he said.
Chebukati said MCK is at liberty to take appropriate action in accordance with relevant laws and procedures governing the council.
“The commission will undertake action at an appropriate time in accordance with the IEBC Act and HR manual,” he said.