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DR SILAS SIMIYU : ACADEMICIAN BUT FAILED MANAGING DIRECTOR ?

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When Dr Silas Simiyu retires to his home mid next year and when he spends his days probably under a mango tree in his home yard he will think he did a marvelous work at Geothermal Development Company where he served as Managing Director since 2009.
Even as he reminisces his good days at GDC he will not have an iota of regret, after all not many men regret the work they have done. They believe they gave their best.
But a careful look at his tenure reveals a trail of missed opportunities and embarrassingly total failure.
To start with GDC has sunk a colossal 60 billion since it was established. You may be forgiven for thinking that this strategic parastatal was started decades ago, No, Dr Simiyu was the first MD.
In essence 60 billion was used to scout for steam in five years, but where us the steam. ?
Last week, aware that his tenure is coming to an end with nothing to show, Dr Simiyu ensured that national papers published reports that GDC will add 105 megawatts to national grid by end of 2015. That looked good on paper, but this was a shift, earlier on the target was 2014.
Now, by end of 2015, Dr Simiyu will have long left office and the honors of delivering the first major project will be left to a new boss. But are there concrete plans to deliver the megawatts really, will the new boss not inherit the mess Dr Simiyu is surely likely to leave behind?
To muddle his own succession efforts Dr Simiyu has come up with bizarre new positions . Insiders see this as a way crippling the ascendancy Dr Peter Omenda who was in a pole position to replace the good Dr Simiyu.
The MD has created 7 new General manager positions. Just like that.
The new general mangers are Abraham Saat (Commercial Services) Paul Ngugi (Business Development) Micheal Mbevi (Drilling Services), Praxidis Saisi ((Legal Affairs and Company Secretary) Godwin Mwawongo (technical Services Nicholas Weke ( (systems Management) Irene Onyambu (Human Resource).
All the above now have been placed at par with Owade who has for long been doubling as Deputy Md and therefore having an equal shot to replace the exiting MD.
There is no gainsaying that all these new mangers owe their new found positions to Dr Simiyu and therefore they would go slow on him after any of them inherit the mess after he bequeath on any of them next year.
The Olkatria iv that President Kenyatta inaugurated recently was started and completed by Ken Gen . GDC was established to ensure that there is a full fledged parastatal to ensure Kenya taps into geothermal power. GDC has nothing to show that they have done. Its a parastatal on hell bent on mark timing.
What we are asking is, does Energy CS the indefatigable CS Davis Chirchir know the mess at GDC, and if he knows what has he done.
When he was appointed it was clear Dr Simiyu fit the job ahead of him.
A press statement read then “Dr. Silas Simiyu has been appointed the Managing Director of the Geothermal Development Company following a recommendation by the GDC Board of Directors. Prior to his appointment he was the General Manager.
Dr. Simiyu is a renowned geothermal expert, distinguished scholar and accomplished manager.
He has 20 years experience in developing and implementing geothermal projects, most of which are thriving in Kenya.
He has a post doctorate degree in Seismology from Duke University (Durha, North Carolina-USA) and a PhD in Applied Geophysics from the University of El Paso – USA where he was honoured as an Outstanding Doctorate Student.
Besides, he has an MSc in Applied Geophysics from University of Nairobi (UoN); and BSc Physics/ Geology UoN. He has also done wide-ranging short courses and attended top of the range geothermal seminars.
Dr. Simiyu has published widely in over 20 prestigious peer-reviewed journals across the world. He is a member of Society of Exploration Geophysicist (SEG), American Geophysical Union (AGU), International Geothermal Association (IGA) and International Institute for Research in Seismology.”
Did he fit the bill?, yes on paper.

Tracy Mukami


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