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‪Panicked Kenya Railways MD Mainga Threatens To Arrest Staffers Who Leak Confidential Documents Exposing Corruption To The Media‬

His fears are that former employees that he unceremoniously dismissed from the corporation could be conspiring with big media houses and senior bloggers to expose his dirty dealings.

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Panic has gripped the management of Kenya Railways over the suspicions that disgruntled employees are plotting to leak information about wanton corruption in the state agency.

Kenya Insights has learned that the embattled Managing Director Philip Mainga is particularly living in fear of having his king kept secrets of corrupt deals being exposed to the media after bitter fallout with some senior employees.

His fears are that former employees that he unceremoniously dismissed from the corporation could be conspiring with big media houses and senior bloggers to expose his dirty dealings.

Mr. Mainga is said to have embarked on a preemptive attack sending warnings to his suspected parties threatening them with legal action should they reveal the ‘secrets’ in public.

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“He’s using some funny law CAP187 claiming it’s illegal to disclose official government documents to outside sources without express permission. He’s hanging on this to scare anyone planning to come forward to expose him and the management.” An insider source told Kenya Insights.

Claims are also being made against Jane Vuligwa, the former General Manager Supply Chain and Mercy for having met some journalists and bloggers and passed confidential information. Beside, there are other claims that the management has in possession of communication between the said employees and journalists and alleged meetings in Karen and Mombasa Road. Kenya Insights couldn’t verify the veracity of the claims. However, we’ve learned they form a bigger part of the scaring tactic.

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We’re told that Mainga and others are threatening to hand names and relevant information to the DCI for the prosecution of those they’re suspecting of working with the media and bloggers.

However, the section of the penal code they’re relying on to muzzle the voices has already been declared unconstitutional.

Mainga’s tenure

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The tenure of Mainga as the MD has been marred with controversies and mismanagement allegations.

Mainga executed a flawed deal with Africa Star Railways (Afristar), the Chinese operator for the SGR line, which ran largely unchecked where Kenya Railways lost up to Sh.1.4m daily. The contract was signed during Athanas Maina’s tenure and was initiated by Mainga himself.

He’s alleged to have unilaterally leased Kenya Railways facilities (container yards and buildings) at Makongeni Nairobi for ten (10) years without any internal procedures or reporting to the board for approval as expected.

Mainga was also mentioned in a tender fraud involving former Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Hassan Joho.

According to a report tabled before the National Assembly Transport Committee, Macharia and Mainga failed to make the process open to interested stakeholders to ensure fairness, transparency, equity and cost-effectiveness.

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The report also indicated that the ministry and Kenya Railways failed to conduct an independent valuation before the execution of leases for an investment in a capital project of such magnitude.

The report showed there was no transparency in the contractual agreement between Kenya Railways and Auto Ports Freight Terminal Limited- a firm linked to Joho’s family-  for the transportation of cargo by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

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The Auditor General warned that Kenya Railways could be losing revenue as a result of irregular leasing of the Nairobi Freight Terminal (NFT) to M/s Autoports Freight Terminal Limited.

According to the special audit report, Kenya Railways as a procuring entity was wrong in entering into a contract with M/s Autoports on terms that were not approved by the board.

The Auditor General found that the procedure followed to have a contractual agreement between Kenya Railways and M/s Autoports Freight Terminal Limited was not transparent and lacked the requisite documents with a clear audit trail as opposed to the similar agreement between KR and M/s Grain Bulk Handlers Limited (GBHL).

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Particularly, the office of the Auditor General was concerned that Kenya Railways did not adhere to the provisions of section 11A of the Kenya Railways Act, Cap 397, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015, and the Public-Private Partnerships Act, 2013 in entering into the lease agreement with M/s Autoports Freight Terminal Limited.

Dismissal of senior staff

Last year, Board of Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) quietly extended Mainga’s term, handing him a second three-year term before the end of the Jubilee administration.

The unexpected extension caused ripples in the corporation with allegations running back and forth that it was un procedural and more grave accusation that the board was bribed to see the re-appointment through, a norm in many state corporations.

Mass exits

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Mainga had a longstanding feud over alleged corruption with Captain Mohammed Abdi as the board’s chairman and they were eventually separated.

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Murkomen in February 2024, appointed Abdi Bare Duale, a brother to defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale as the new board chairman.

Following the exit of Captain Abdi, Mainga is says to have gone on the extreme, dismissing senior managers, demoting others and instigating the resignation of some. It’s believed he aims at replacing them with his loyalists and more so to cover up corrupt deals in the corporation that runs into billions. Positions that have been left vacant and advertised after Mainga’s onslaught

  1. GM: Legal Services & CS
  2. GM: Supply Chain Management RG2
  3. GM: Rail Operations
  4. GM: Finance
  5. GM: Business & Commercial
  6. Corporate Audit Manager
  7. Property Manager

We’re told he dismissed everyone he questioned his loyalty and more so those he perceived were allied to Captain Abdi.

However, his dismissals were challenged in court on 19th March and stayed by Justice Mathews Njeri and a ruling is set to be made on 9th May 2024.

Keep it here for more.

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