The Board and staff of the Kenya institute for public policy research and Analysis (Kippra) usually start and end their meetings with prayers. However, since the government appointed a new board of directors last year, things have been deteriorating rapidly. As a concerned observer and frequent user of their excellent reports, I feel obliged to mention a few of them.
First, the chairman of the board has successfully discouraged the mention of the mighty name of ‘Jesus Christ’ in prayers or meetings that he presiding over. Many directors and staff have found it different to conduct their prayer in the way they know best to worship. This is against the constitution on religious freedom.
Second, over the years, the KIPPRA board has given staff two days travel upcountry to celebrate Christmas vacation with their loved ones. This year, the board chairman has withdrawn this christmas goodwill gesture from its employees. Those employees who wish to enjoy it have to apply for leave. Celebrating with loved ones especially in the rural areas foster essential cultural values that are enshrined in our constitution.
Third, the chairman has terminated contracts of senior employees in the institute including the CEO. Since doing so, the board has embarked on expensive board meetings in five-star hotels in Mombasa, Nairobi and Naivasha. The Board has been single sourcing consultants, especially from private universities, to train board members in audit and human resource management issues. It would be naïve to rationalize such use of public resources yet board members are appointed on the basis of their experience and competence to exercise oversight control on public organizations.
Fourth, the Board has taken advantage of the power vacuum left by former embattled cabinet secretary for devolution and planning (their parent ministry) to even plan for trips to the Far East including going to Malaysia and Thailand. This will cost the taxpayer’s millions of shillings.
Fifth, although he is not an executive chairman, Mr. Mohamed mukras spends inordinate amounts of time at the kippra offices. He is basically micromanaging the institute. Besides he uses kippra vehicles to run his private errands including shopping with his younger wives and going to the mosque in Langata.
Sixth, going from the ruling against the deputy president of the supreme court on retirement age, the government should reconsider limitations of age in future appointments. The current chairman of KPPRA is 78 years of age and should leave the position for younger minds.
Hope someone out there can reinstate the CEO and other sacked employees before this excellent institution collapses.
From Concerned Stakeholder .
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