Members of Parliament have today voted to dismiss the report tabled by the communications committee recommending the removal of Tabitha Mutemi as a board member of the Media Council of Kenya.
Ms Mutemi’s removal was orchestrated by her boss the Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo after it emerged she was also employed by the IEBC.
While still being IEBC’s communications manager, the commission had earlier confirmed that Mutemi’s appointment at MCK would not be viable. Besides, the commission had not been consulted nor notified of her appointment to the Media Council.
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Besides, according to section 16 of the IEBC act, employees and members of the council are prohibited from holding other public offices during their tenure of office.
In a letter by David Omwoyo, MCK’s CEO, to Maina Muiruri, MCK’s board chairman, Mutemi would not be recognized as a board member due to the alleged employment illegality reactions from various stakeholders.
Esther Koimett, ICT Principal Secretary, had also informed the committee that through the Ministry of ICT, Mutemi had been advised to make up her mind about the two positions since holding both of them was not possible.
Koimett also pointed out why holding both offices as an employee of the IEBC and a board member of the MCK, was a violation of the constitution.
Churchill Otieno, the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) president also passed his concerns being among those invited to the National Assembly’s departmental committee.
He had told the committee that MCK was on the wrong side of the law in their attempt to eject Mutemi from the board.
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According to Churchill, Section 14 of the Media Council Act gives a clear procedure of ejecting a member of the MCK and to the best of his knowledge, the agency had not followed the procedure.
Churchill further emphasized the need for MCK’s independence in executing its stator and constitutional mandate.
However, with the MP’s voting against the report on Mutemi’s removal as a board member, the tables might turn in favour of her.
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