TARDA boss sued for falsifying his date of birth, being in office illegally and employing relatives

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TARDA managing director, Mr Stephen Githaiga Ruimuku (centre), during a teambuilding session. PHOTO/TARDA

By OUR CORRESPONDENT

The managing director of Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA), Mr Stephen Githaiga Ruimuku, has been sued for populating the state corporation with relatives.

Mr Githaiga has also been accused of lacking integrity, falsifying his date of birth through acquiring of two different national identity cards and misappropriating misappropriated public funds in excess of Sh 645 million.

The matter is contained in a suit filed by the Union of Kenya Civil Servants under petition number 173 of questioning the constitutional and legal validity of handpicking and appointing Mr Githaiga as Tarda managing director.

The MD has been accused of either influencing or directly employing and continue to employ his relatives who include his brother, John Wamaguru Githaiga (senior officer-engineering department), his daughter, Beatrice Murigi Githaiga (manager public relations), his wife Lucy Wangui Ngahu (manager Upper Athi, Ruiru Tree Nursery), and Julius Githaiga Wamaguru (technician), who is his nephew and son to his brother (John Githaiga).

Others include  Julius Githaiga Thumbuku (liaison officer –Othaya) who is his nephew, Lucy Thumbuku working at Tarda office in Masinga who is the MD’s niece, Robert Githaiga Kabachia (manager Masinga Afforestation) who is a nephew, a brother to his wife, and Ignatius Kirathe Ngahu (manager TDIP rice mill), another brother-in-law.

TARDA managing director, Mr Stephen Githaiga Ruimuku, relaxing with a friend. PHOTO/TARDA

Others include Gedion Gakuo Ngahu (assistant manager, Masinga farm ), another brother-in-law, Lawrence Nganga Ngahu (Head of stores-Masinga Dam Resort), another brother-in-law David Mwangi  Ndegwa (accountant) and five other close relatives.

Those roped into the suit include the Tarda MD, the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Regional Development, Mr Adan Mohamed, Public Service Commission,  the director, Department of Civil Registration, Attorney General  Paul Kihara and TARDA.

The Union of Kenya Civil Servants accuse Mr Githaiga of having serious integrity issues and not being fit to serve as the TARDA managing director. The union alleges that in the MD’s passport issued on February 2, 2011, his date of birth is shown as October 20, 1958 with his names appearing as Ruimuku Steven Githaiga was altered.

However, in his national identity card number 1901968, his names appear as Steven Maina Githaiga, with the date of birth remaining as October 20, 1958. To the contrary, the original national identity card number 1901968 issued on November 11, 1992, the date of birth is indicated as 1953 and not 1958.

The Union of Kenya Civil Servants indicates that an audit at TARDA done by the Kenya National Audit Office in June 2014 revealed that Mr Githaiga changed his name from that recorded at the National Registration Bureau to a different name and changed his date of birth from 1953 to 1958 thereby cheating on his age by five years.

The union observes that as a result, instead of retiring in the year 2008, the TARDA boss illegally continues and shall continue to illegally earn tax payers money in salary and is currently illegally earning an amount in excess of Sh 29,230,944 basic pay besides other allowances through fraud he knowingly committed contrary to provisions of Article 73 (1) of the Constitution.

The Union of Kenya Civil Servants adds that according to another audit carried out by the Kenya National Audit Office in June 2015 and June 2017 shows that the TARDA MD misappropriated public funds in excess of Sh 645,300,596.

The union notes that the audit by the Kenya National Audit Office in June 2014 also revealed that Mr Githaiga has been involved in irregular and illegal staff recruitments contrary to Article 232 (1), (2) of the Constitution.

The union says that Mr Githaiga is in office illegally because he never went through the requisite recruitment process for holders of such public offices as provided under the Constitution and other applicable laws.

The petitioner stresses that Mr Githaiga is illegally in office as he has no any appointment letter from the appointing authority or signed contract from the TARDA board and was therefore appointed through “handpicking.”

 

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