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Fazul Under Siege: NGO-Board Staff Raise Red Flag Over Corruption

FAZUL-MOHAMED-YUSUF

QUESTIONS ON THE APPOINTMENT OF NGOs CO-ORDINATION BOARD’SEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – MR. YUSUF MAHAMED FAZUL

Following the resignation of Dr. Hezron Mc’Obewa in mid 2014, the NGOs Co-ordination Board advertised for the position of Executive Director in the local dailies on 24th October, 2014.

For one to qualify for this position, an applicant was to posses the following qualifications among others:

1. Bachelor degree in social sciences or business administration or a related field from a recognized university. Higher qualifications will have added advantage

2. At least 5 years work experience at a senior management level

3. Financial management skills with the capacity to identify, develop and increase the Board’s revenue base

4. Fulfill the requirements of Chapter 6 by attaching valid copies of HELB, KRA,CRB and EACC clearances

5. Membership of relevant professional body

Mr. Yusuf Mahamed Fazul of ID No. 25164771 was shortlisted together with 8 others and interviewed on 18th November, 2014. According to the interview results’ records held by the NGOs Board’s minutes dated 20th November, 2014, Mr. Yusuf Mahamed Fazul emerged the “highest” and subsequently appointed as the Executive Director by the then Cabinet Secretary of Devolution and Planning, Anne Waiguru as noted in the Board minutes dated 3rdDecember, 2014.

Mr. Yusuf Mahamed Fazul reported on duty towards end of November 2014 and was even paid half salary for that month.

Media reports started emerging alleging that Mr. Yusuf Mahamed Fazul did not possess the qualifications for this position especially the Bachelor degree from Egerton university as indicated in the CV he presented during job application since he was discontinued from Egerton University.

The National Council of NGOs Chairman, Mr. Wilson Kipkazi on 3rd September, 2015 wrote to the Vice Chancellor, Egerton University to seek clarification on this allegation. The University via a letter dated 10th September, 2015 confirmed that Mr. Mahamed Yusuf as he was known was discontinued on academic grounds in his third year by the senate on 26th August, 2010.

Apart from the degree qualification, Mr. Yusuf Mahamed Fazul does not posses the other qualifications too since he did not give proof of the same except for the Certificate of good conduct. Mr. Fazul was appointed based on the influence of one Mr. Hassan Noor Hassan, then Waiguru’s Chief of staff and who also represented the PS, Ministry of Devolution and Planning at the NGOs Board. Mr. Noor ensured that Mr. Fazul got the position by reducing the job experience requirement from 10 to 5 years, forcing his short listing through the then Finance & Admin. Committee Chairman, Mr. Charles Kipyegon Too, ensuring the NGOs Board’s management especially the Human Resource Manager did not attend the interview session and ensuring Mr. Fazul had the interview questions in advance. The Board minutes indicate Fazul got 93.4% in the interview.

A week after his appointment, Mr. Fazul asked the Human Resource Manager, Ms. Josephine Ngatia to give him his personnel file, thee file containing the job application documents of the first and second runners up and any other document relating to the Executive Director’s recruitment. He has since confiscated these documents in one of the two safes in his office.

The NGOs Co-ordination Board is the REGULATOR of the NGOs Sector in the Kenya for both local and international NGOs. The Board falls under the ministry of Devolution and Planning. This crucial sector is thus run by a Form Four Leaver due to impunity in the full glare of the authorities despite public outcry. Mr. Fazul has resorted to threating NGOs with dire consequences on their salary scales especially the expartriates. This leaves one to wonder a lot since the same Fazul does not respect the existence of set salary scales at the Board.

The threat to NGOs is an extortion scheme by him and the Legal Manager, Mr. Lindon Otieno who also doubles up as the Ag. Head of Operations,Compliance and Research. The duo, in the name of visiting NGOs to advice them on governance issues, has also perfected in extorting money from NGOs via various threats in the name of advice.

The Board also operated an illegal entity called Institute of Chartered Management which they purport is an advisory subsidiary that is mandated to give training on governance issues. Through this illegal outfit money is also extorted from the NGOs.

The EACC summoned the Human Resource Manager, Ms. Josephine Ngatia and Mr. Fazul to their offices on 12th and 16thFebruary, 2015, respectively, to shade light on the issue. Information from the Board indicate that on the eve of Josephine’s visit to EACC, Mr. Fazul kept her in his office up to around 11 p.m coaching her on what to tell the EACC investigators about his appointment.

She was coached to state that:

i. She never saw the Egerton degree (Bachelor in Biochemistry) certificate at the point of application and short listing

ii. His CV had nothing to do with a degree from Egerton University but that he was a continuing degree student at East Africa University – Kitengela

iii. That his personnel file was taken to the parent ministry for safe keeping by the Ministry’s PS, Mr. Saitoti Torome who he claims to be his personal friend.

He also told her not to worry since he (Fazul) is the one who had called for the investigations (stage managed) as a formality and that he had already financially “sorted” out the investigators and had even talked to the EACC Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Halakhe Waqo about the issue at a private meeting. As such, the file/matter will be closed as soon as possible.

He insisted that Josephine should stick to the above since he was also going to state that he had just graduated from East Africa University – Kitengela in December, 2015 (a year after his appointment) had the transcripts but was yet to be issued with the degree certificate. He was going to deny having given any CV with Egerton information! This was meant to ensure that Josephine did not contradict the lie he was going to present.

This move clearly indicates that Mr. Fazul was confirming that he was irregularly appointed but was just trying to avoid being arrested and charged for certificate forgery and that is why his personnel file is under his custody.

Both Josephine and Fazul reported to EACC on their respective appointment dates and recorded statements.The questions among others,that need to be answered therefore are:

1) Did Fazul posses the required qualifications (all) for the position at the point of his appointment?

2) From which institution did he get his degree certificate and their authenticity?

3) Why is he hiding his personnel file?

4) Why did he order the IT department to remove management team’s profiles from the Board’s website (www.ngobureau.or.ke) after emergence of his appointment’s allegations?

5) Is he fit for this office?

6) Why is the Cabinet Secrtetary, Mr. Mwangi Kiunjuri silent on this matter?

7) Was due diligence applied by the board members who appointed him?

Despite all these irregularities and illegality, Mr. Fazul is comfortably in office as the Executive Director, NGOs Co-ordination Board. It is worth noticing that the Board has not had Board members since the former board’s term expired in March 2015 thus Mr. Fazul has continued and shall continue illegally serving as the Executive Director of the NGOs Co-ordination Board.

Several complaints to various institutions have borne no fruits to save this important regulator. It has emerged that any complaint letter tdo the authorities never get to their intended recipients since secretaries to these people are in Fazul’s payroll to ensure all letters are waylaid. The Secretary to the CS Kiunjuri and secretary to PS Saitoti both of Ministry of devolution are among the ones in the payroll. At EACC, one Mr. Kaberenge is the point man to Mr. Fazul. Kaberenge ensures all information regarding the issue is relayed to Fazul including copies of statements by HR and Deputy director. Office of the Ombudsman has also kept silent on the issue. The DCI have also remained silent on the matter yet they are are of the issue.

Fazul has turned the Board to a personal property that he runs as he feels like. Staff at the Board have been subjected to victimization. Cases of nepotism, sexual harassment and misuse of public funds have become the order of the day.

The responsible offices are therefore called upon to rise to the occasion to save this institution that regulates an important sector – The NGOs Sector.



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