Beatrice Elachi under probe over irregular hiring at City Hall

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Ms Beatrice Elachi leaves City Hall buildings on August 11, 2020 after resigning as Speaker.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has opened investigations into allegations of abuse of office by Gender Chief Administrative Secretary Beatrice Elachi during her time as Nairobi County Assembly Speaker.

The probe revolves around acts or omissions by Ms Elachi as the assembly’s speaker and chairperson of the Nairobi City County Assembly Service Board, as well as the illegal conduct of the board.

The investigation is looking into allegations of unlawful expenditure, loss of public funds and illegal promotion of staff between 2017 and 2020.

Ms Elachi and the board have been accused of discrimination and bias in appointments, promotions carried out without requisite budgetary provisions, irregular supersession of unqualified junior officers to senior positions, irregular recruitments and disregard for schemes of service in terms of qualification and experience.

“The commission pursuant to its constitutional and statutory mandate is investigating allegations of abuse of office against Hon Beatrice Elachi, the former Speaker and chair, Nairobi City County Assembly Service Board, and the illegal conduct of the board,” reads in part the letter signed by EACC Senior Ethics Officer Emily Ibeere dated September 22, 2021.

The anti-graft agency has asked the assembly to furnish its investigators with a litany of documents, including the assembly’s human resource manual, approved organisational structure from 2014 and a list of principal officers, senior officers and all officers given direct appointments.

This is in addition to a list of all the applicants, long listing and shortlisting reports, list of interview panellists, individual score sheets and interview reports from September 2020.

The EACC also wants the approved budget for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years, IPPD staff payroll for the months of May to December 2020; payroll for all staff on contract for the months of May to December 2020; minutes of a meeting of the Board held on October 30, 2019, among others.

‘Done nothing wrong’

Ms Elachi said she is yet to receive any letter from the EACC but will follow up and in any case, she has done nothing wrong.

Other documents are a Deloitte and Touche Consultancy report (including the contract for the provision of consultancy services, LSOs, invoices, and payment vouchers for the consultancy services), minutes of the Board approving the engagement of Deloitte to review the assembly’s organisational structure and approving the final report of Deloitte as well as copy of the internal advertisement for the positions which were advertised in June 2020.

“No letter from EACC has reached and in fact I am hearing from you that I am under investigations. In any case, the office of the speaker is a perpetual office and the one currently occupying it should be the one being summoned by the EACC,” said Ms Elachi.

“Our officers Peter Mwita and Kennedy Mwukenya will be available to receive the documents on or before September 29, 2021 and record your statement.”

Reached for comment, The new development follows a fallout at the assembly over planned recruitment of 28 senior officers last month after the board ran an advertisement on August 11, 2021 seeking to fill the positions internally.

However, the process was opposed by a section of staff with one Sheila Munubi, on August 16, 2021 going to the Employment and Labour Relations court seeking for orders prohibiting the assembly from interfering with an existing organisation structure at the assembly that came into force in April last year, pending the hearing and the determination of her application. This forced the court to temporarily stop the process.

EACC would on August 19, 2021 write to acting Clerk Adah Onyango informing her that they have commenced investigations into allegations touching on the irregularity in the recruitment.

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