By Wasuna Omondi
Controversy reigns over the hiring of 14 officers at the Bandari Maritime Academy with a lobby group now calling for public scrutiny on how top positions were filled at the agency.
The Coast based academy in November last year advertised for the vacancy for the positions but questions are piling up on how 14 officers were recruited.
The Commission for Human Rights and Justice is convinced due process as per the law was never followed.
The commission has inquired from the academy the list of all the applicants for the positions and claims the recruitment was not competitive.
The positions were BMA/22/MET/3 (Deputy Director Maritime Director Education Training),
BMA/22/REG/5( Registrar),BMA/22/ADT/6 (Assistant Director Internal Audit),BMA/22/FIN/7 (Assistant Director, Finance and Accounts,BMA/22/SCM/8 (Assistant Director Supply Chain Management), BMA/22/9 (Deputy Director Information Communication Technology), BMA/22/ICT/10( Senior Principal Nautical).
Other are BMA/22/SPTE/11(Senior Principal Trainer, School of Marine Engineering), BMA/22/SPTP/12(Senior Principal Trainer, School of port operations and logistics), BMA/22/PCDO/13 (Principal Curriculum Development Officer), BMA/22/PEAO/14(Principal Examination and Admission Officer) and BMA/22/PAOAO/15 (Principal Academic Quality Assurance Officer).
One of the officers who was hired is Titus Musyoka Kilonzi who used an affidavit letter claiming his form four certificate got lost and he has never recovered it
In a letter dated June 19th 2023,the commision wants the Maritime Academy to release the notice on the date and interviews for the advertised.
The letter directed to the Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer Francis Muraya also seeks to have copies of academic qualifications and testimonials of those appointed to the positions.
The letter also seeks information on guidelines related to the recruitment process and the c riteria used by the Human Resource deparment to make the recruitment.
Also in question is the legality of the CEO to hold the position with reports indicating that he has already reached his retirement age.Sources indicate that he is 63 year old and must have already retired.
On the 14 officers, the commission is siting legal notice 233 of 28th November 2018 where 35 employees were seconded from Kenya Ports Authority and were not given priority to apply or show interest in the vacant positions.
It argues that the move contradicts the Public Service Commission Act No.10 of 2017.
“Article 234(2) (a)(i) grants the Public Service Commission powers to establish offices in the publis service whereas, the provisions of section 26 and 27 of the PSC act were enacted to give effect to article(234)(2)(a)(i) of the constitution”
The commission is convinced that appointments pose a hindrance to career growth where the staff were not given the opportunity to apply.
The commission wants the officers appointed surcharged for the salaries paid in April and May 2023.
The commission is also pursuing circumstances under which the new administration has allowed the CEO Francis Muraya to continue serving in public service against the retirement age of 60 when there is evidence that he is already beyond that number.
Efforts to get response from the CEO have been futile and when contacted he only promised to call back.
“ I will call back later,” the CEO said.
Shockingly the 35 seconded KPA staff were sent home and were never given any chance to apply and no internal intake of the same that took place.
Some opposition MPs have vowed to take over the matter under parliamentary oversight committees.