NAIROBI – In a significant turn of events, Ezra Chiloba, the Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), has tendered his resignation amidst mounting allegations of graft and abuse of office. The decision comes on the heels of an investigation launched by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission concerning these claims.
The Communications Authority confirmed on Thursday that its board of directors has accepted Chiloba’s resignation. “On behalf of the Authority, we appreciate Mr. Chiloba’s invaluable contribution to the organization and the wider ICT sector. We wish him success in his future endeavors,” remarked CA Board Chairperson Mary Wambui.
Chiloba, who took on the role of Director General in October 2021, has had his term cut short, lasting just two years. Prior to this, he held the position of CEO at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). His tenure at CA, however, has been marred by recent allegations of graft, leading to his suspension in mid-September this year.
Christopher Wambua, a seasoned official within the organization, has been appointed as the acting Director General in Chiloba’s stead. Wambua’s appointment arrives at a crucial time when the authority seeks to rebuild its public image and restore trust.
But Chiloba wasn’t the only one facing the brunt of these allegations. Alongside him, several key figures within the authority, including the directors of Human Resources, Legal Services, Internal Audit, and Finance were also sent home. The core accusation revolves around the misappropriation of a substantial sum, approximately Ksh662 million, specifically from the staff mortgage, leading the communications regulator to incur significant losses.
An intensive investigation spearheaded by the Special Board Audit and Risk Committee unveiled considerable discrepancies in the authority’s financial records. One of the prominent revelations was Chiloba’s acquisition of a property. The committee found that Chiloba had not only purchased a house but also procured seven acres of land, overshooting the one-acre limit established by the Civil Servants Housing for such acquisitions.
In light of these findings, the committee was unequivocal in its recommendation. It emphasized the immediate need for the management to hold the responsible individuals accountable and to initiate measures to recover the misappropriated funds. “The liabilities must be addressed and recovered within the forthcoming 30 days,” the committee firmly stated.
The Communications Authority of Kenya headquarters is a modern facility in Nairobi, symbolizing the nation’s commitment to ICT advancement.
The Communications Authority, as a central regulator of Kenya’s communications and ICT sector, plays a pivotal role in ensuring transparency, fairness, and adherence to guidelines. These recent events have undoubtedly cast a shadow on its operations and reputation. With key positions now vacant and the looming task of financial recovery, the CA faces a challenging road ahead.
Public trust in such organizations is paramount, and the CA’s next steps will be closely watched by stakeholders and the general public alike. As the investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission progress, many will be looking for a swift and just resolution to this saga, hoping for a fresh start and more stringent checks and balances within the Communications Authority of Kenya.