As Uhuru Kenyatta’s appointment of 128 parastatal heads in 2018 was declared unconstitutional by the High Court, trouble is looming at the National Social Security Fund as the non-executive chairman board of trustees, Julius Karangi, is fighting tooth and nail to renew his three- year contract that is set to
expire this June. As Karangi is fighting to retain his position, Weekly Citizen has information, civil societies are planning to move to court to block him in case his tenure is renewed. This is after a three-judge bench of the High Court declared that the appointments, which featured key political losers and former government officials, were made in an opaque manner, therefore invalidating them.
Some of the prominent names in the appointments made in June 2018 included former Knut chairman Mudzo Nzili, former Mombasa gubernatorial candidate Suleiman Shabhal, former governors Benjamin Cheboi (Baringo), Doyo Godana (Isiolo) among other individuals. “People of Kenya desired that parastatal appointments must be competitive, fair and transparent considering persons with disabilities and Kenya’s diverse communities,” the court ruled. It is the said ruling that activists want to use to block Karangi. The ruling was made following a case filed by Katiba Institute and the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCog) who sued the state over the appointments saying that the law was not followed. According to the court, the appointments should be made in a transparent manner which includes declaration of vacancies and interviews to give all Kenyans a fair chance. The court also invalidated various post-2010 statutes which allow appointments to parastatals without requiring fair competition or merit.
Weekly Citizen has information staff at the NSSF are a worried lot should Karangi’s contract be renewed. Sources who talked to Weekly Citizen on strict conditions of anonymity, said Karangi is arrogant and incompetent and appealed to the appointing authorities not to renew his contract. Before being appointed to NSSF, Gen Karangi was the board chairman at Kenya Airways Authority where his stint was shrouded in controversy. He had been appointed by Uhuru Kenyatta in 2016. The president sacked former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo as the KAA board chairman and replaced him with Karangi. The staff say the retired general is extravagant. He has over 20 bodyguards and has employed other staff, mostly members of his family and friends.
They allege the tyrant chairman runs NSSF like his fiefdom with no regard to protocols and guidelines. Not surprising going by his past record in the military and at KAA where he had no respect or regard for anybody including board members and stakeholders at large. It is alleged the reitired soldier has a penchant for expensive things which he funds using the poor Kenyan workers savings. Many ask “who will save the poor worker from this tyrant who is gobbling up their savings”. It is said that when auditors try to raise issues of Karangi mismanagement of the funds, he threatens them that he can shoot them and reminds and cites his links with the head of state and other power barons. He is also accused of not supporting president’s big four agenda. Insiders say Karangi is at loggerheads with a section of board
of that he micromanages.