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Rebecca Miano’s Controversial Appointment



National assembly speaker and Ford-K leader Moses Wetang’ula is a bitter man after Trade cabinet secretary Rebecca Miano appointed Esther Njeri as the managing director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

Now it is said that Miano was behind Raila Odinga presidential bid in 2022 and only found her way to the cabinet to pave the way for a Kalenjin to land the plum slot of Kengen CEO.

Ngari has been holding the position in an acting capacity since May when the former boss at the agency, Bernard Njiraini, was kicked out alongside 27 others in a raft of changes affecting the management.

She is among the three candidates whose names were forwarded to the CS by the National Standards Council for consideration following the conclusion of the interviews.


“The cabinet secretary for Investments, Trade and Industry appoints Esther Njeri Ngari to be the chief executive officer for a period of three years with effect October 13 2023,” reads the Gazette Notice in part.

The council is the policy-making body for supervising and controlling the administration and financial management of the bureau.
An extract of minutes from the council’s special meeting showed that Ngari had emerged second with a score of 77.22pc after Moses Otoa who topped the list with 78.78pc.

Suspended director of quality assurance and inspection Geoffrey Muriira came third with 68.33pc.

Previously, Ngari served as the director of Standards Development and Trade.
Others who had been interviewed for the job are Mugambi Kaberia who came fourth with a score of 53.78pc, Waweru Karanja (51.33), Luka Kipchumba (50.78), Gordon Onkjire (46.56) and Bruno Linviru.
Otao, Ngari and Karua were approved by Kebs chairman Peter Munyiri to the CS for consideration for the position of MD on October 13 2023.

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The purge at the agency came following the disappearance of 20,000 bags of contaminated sugar.


The sugar is suspected to have found its way into the market despite being condemned and seized by the agency.

The sugar in question was imported into the country in 2018 but was flagged by Kebs for want of expiry date specification.

Kebs had marked the 20,000-50 kilogramme bags of sugar as unfit for human consumption.
It then directed that it be destroyed at the owner’s cost by either burning or burying.

It was however decided later that the consignment be converted for industrial ethanol use, which was to be implemented under the joint supervision of Kebs and the National Environment Management Authority, within a multi-agency framework.

It has been established that Wetang’ula had talked to president William Ruto to have his camp allocated the slot.


Apart from president Ruto, Wetang’ula had reached out to Felix Koskei, the chief-of-staff and head of Public Service who is responsible for managing operations, coordinating policies and supervising staff on behalf of the president and the office handles communication with ministries, state departments and agencies regarding the daily operations of the government, on the related issue.
During the said period, the cabinet secretary of the docket was Moses Kuria. The then Investments, Trade and Industry cabinet secretary Kuria was moved to the newly reconstituted and renamed ministry of Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management.

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Miano replaced Kuria at the ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry, leaving the ministry of East African Community, the Asals and Regional Development to Peninnah Malonza.
The timing of the removal from Miti CS Kuria was suspect, according to well-versed sources in a wider scheme to scuttle Wetang’ula’s overtures.
The national assembly speaker is reading mischief with the appointment of Ngari even after Sudi emerged as number one.

There’s information that Wetang’ula’s efforts to reach Miano have been futile as she openly claims the national assembly speaker has been disturbing her on phone while knowing that Koskei has given straight instructions for the Kenya Gazette notice.
It is not only Wetang’ula who is complaining about Koskei. Recently, prime cabinet secretary Musalia Mudavadi trained his guns on the chief-of-staff and head of Public Service escalating a tussle over the role and location of their offices.

In a strongly worded statement, Mudavadi’s de facto spokesperson, Kibisu Kabatesi, accused Koskei of fuelling the tug-of-war between the two ministers by overstepping his mandate.

Kabatesi, who is the government’s secretary for strategic communications, said portfolio allocation was the prerogative of the president and could not be usurped by a civil servant, in this case Koskei.
The veteran Mudavadi aide said any civil servant who purports to allocate ministerial positions or portfolios is misguided.


“Such action can be attributed to enthusiastic flights of fancy; the import of such misadventure is to sow disorder and discord among members of the cabinet with the intention of disorienting the collective responsibility of the cabinet,” Kabatesi said.

A circular by Koskei informed all ministries and state departments to take note of their designated headquarters and to ensure compliance.
As a result, the Old Treasury Building along Harambee Avenue was designated as the office of the PCS and the ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs. On the other hand, the Kenya Railways Headquarters on Haile Selassie Avenue, previously designated as the PCS office, will now be occupied by the ministry of Public Service under CS Kuria.
But Mudavadi’s office has objected to the new location, saying its office will remain at the KR Hq.

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Last week, Kabatesi downplayed any tussle with Kuria. He argued that Mudavadi has been squatting in the Treasury building pending the completion of the renovation of his office at Railways.

“To therefore claim that the Treasury Building is designated as the office of the prime minister and cabinet secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs is to confuse the public evidence in the executive order No 1 of January 2023 which designates the office at the Kenya Railways Headquarters,” Kabatesi said.
This means that until and unless executive order No 1 of January 2023 is revoked by HE president William Ruto through another executive order, the status quo will remain,” he added.

Kuria also sought to downplay any bad blood between him and Mudavadi.
“Contrary to reports, there is absolutely no tug-of-war between myself and my senior and close friend prime cabinet secretary Musalia Mudavadi,” he said.


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