The Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has questioned the Sh26.82 million illegally paid to the former Kenya Power and Lightening (KPLC) Managing Director Bernard Ngugi after his abrupt resignation in 2021.
Although Kenya Power board indicated that Ngugi resigned, investigations by The Informer Media Group established that a decision was reached to sack Ngugi but was asked to quit.
She stated that the money was paid without the approval of the State Corporation Advisory Committee (SCAC) as stipulated by the law.
The illegal payment was however approved by the ministries of energy and petroleum and the national treasury on 25th May 2022 and April 11, 20222.
“The payment was subject to approval by the ministry of energy and the national treasury who both granted approvals on May 25, 2022, and April 11, 2022.” Said Gathungu.
“While not objecting to the payment, the national treasury advised that the same be subject to the approval of SCAC. However, SCAC approval was not obtained prior to payment of the gratuity of Sh26.82 million as advised.” She said.
Gathungu revealed that the exit pay package for the ex-managing director is a contravention of KPLC’s staff regulations and procedures which provide that if an employee resigns before the completion of their contract, they would have no entitlement to gratuity or any terminal leave pay.
The auditor general said Sh2.52 million of the exit payment was paid in lieu of notice yet Ngugi had resigned without giving notice and, therefore, ought to have paid the company a notice of Sh2.28 million.
“The payment was irregular since it is only payable to an employee whose employment contract is terminated by the company without giving notice. In the circumstances, the regularity of Sh26.82million exit pay could not be confirmed.” Gathungu added.
The revelations confirm that Ngugi’s exit was hasty and he would have been a victim of the strong push by the Kenya Kwanza government for a fresh broom at KPLC.
Since the exit of Ngugi, the utility has had Odour managing it for ten months before she was replaced by Geoffrey Muli who was appointed as the acting MD before the appointment of Joseph Siror this year.