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US $ 3.2 Million Donor Funding Behind Forceful Removal of East African Business Council Executive Director

Ms. Lilian Awinja

The confirmation of donor funding to the East African Business Council, set in motion tactical scheming on how to deny the then Executive Director – Ms. Lilian Awinja control over the expenditure of the funds for the projects for which she had negotiated (see separate story – ‘The Steeplechases & Waters Women Leaders Surmount on the path to success in this part of the world’).

The EABC chair – Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt (The current chair – Kenya Private Sector Alliance KEPSA) in collusion with a board member embarked on a mission to sack the ED, not for anything else but for her no none sense stance against corruption in the running of the affairs of the council a characteristic of her employment for the last 10 years during which time she rose through the ranks to the post of Executive Director.

Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt. The current chair – Kenya Private Sector Alliance KEPSA

The current ED Hon. Peter Mathuki who undoubtedly brings to the EABC tremendous experience in politics; was appointed by the chairman to quickly replace the hardworking and incorruptible Lilian Awinja on 02/10/2018 just a weekend after her dismissal. Hon. Mathuki a member of the 3rd East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) 2012-17, readily accepted to be installed at Arusha just before the release of the donor funds.

It is interesting to note that Hon. Mathuki lost in Kenya’s 2017 Elections after vying as Gubernatorial running mate in Machakos County. That Hon. Mathuki who is broke readily accepted the plum appointment by the chairman unprocedurally – without the board’s consent cannot be gainsaid, it smacks of export of bad manners to Arusha the EAC headquarters.

That the Machakos Gubernatorial Election petition is pending at The Supreme Court of Kenya having passed through both The High Court and The Court of Appeal of Kenya is important to underscore. That the chairman is colluding to reap off his organisation to fund politics is quite interesting indeed. Appreciating the fact that the current petition goes against the petitioner and a by-election called immediately; the question is: for how long does the chairman intend the Hon. Peter Mathuki to serve as CEO in Arusha?

Peter Mathuki

According to an insider (name withheld this early due to the sensitivity of the matter) privy to the underground machinations; for the better part of this year Hon. Mathuki has been traversing the council’s membership in Nairobi masquerading as EABC ambassador soliciting funds to offset bills for the long and expensive petition. Indeed, asked during the planning how he would succeed in acquiring a work permit ASAP on posting after Tanzania government recently denied one to Ms Sylvia Mulinge who had been posted by Safaricom to Dar to head Vodacom Tanzania; he quickly quipped that he knew too well how to manoeuvre in Tanzania after his stint at EALA especially with availability of funds.

This settled, Mr Nesbitt called Ms Awinja on Friday 28/09/2018 instructing her to resign immediately and handover. Amidst protestation, she painfully obliged and has left.



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