Boardroom wars at Kenya Railway turn nasty – Weekly Citizen


Boardroom wars at the Kenya Railway Corporation are far from over.
The wars have seen two camps emerge at the now lucrative parastatal; one allied to powerful chairman Michael Waweru, a one-time Commisioner-General of Kenya Revenew Authority. Waweru was the Commissioner-General when Uhuru Kenyatta served as Finance minister from 2009 January to January 2012.
On the other side of the divide is the acting managing director, Philip Mainga. Since August 17, last year, Mainga, who was the corporation’s business research general manager has been acting after replacing Atanas Maina, who was suspended.

Philip Mainga

According to the Employment Act, one has to act for six months before the position is advertised for competitive recruitment. Surprisingly, Mainga, accused of having loose zip, has been in office for seven months in acting capacity. Those allied to Waweru are questioning his continued occupation of the office in acting capacity.
By last week, Weekly Citizen had established, if Transport cabinet secretary James Macharia said to be Mainga’s godfather, was not going to allow the board to recruit a substantive MD through a competitive process, they would sponsor activist Okiya Omtatah to move to court to prevail the board to do so.
But even as the anti-Mainga forces work on the legal aspect to remove him from the plum job, Weekly Citizen has information, the acting MD will be shown the door on matters relating to Chapter Six of the constitution that deals with integrity.
Already, an employee at KRC is said to have a dossier on how Mainga has sexually been abusing her only to dump her in favour of another lady currently working at the standard gauge railway department.
The embattled Mainga is said to have promised her a job at the SGR department but was shocked when the MD ended up hiring her rival.
The dossier is to be forwarded to the KRC board to discuss Mainga’s character. The lady claims in a sworn affidavit seen by Weekly Citizen that Mainga sexually abused her during get-together meetings in Mombasa and while on working tours across the country. To defend her claims are suggestive text messages and photos including video grabs taken during the good moments in five-star hotels.
In one of the text message,Maingi says the lady is the only sweet one he has met on earth.
To her, Mainga has been abusing the office of KRC MD even when acting and should not be confirmed. Other allegations against Mainga border on corruption in the compensation of SGR acquired land from Nairobi to Naivasha.
In the affidavit, she claims, MPs from the Maa community have been frequenting Mainga’s office to cut deals in the compensation process, raising eyebrows.
Another aggrieved person is also said to have written a complaint to the board stating Mainga’s involvement in employment malpractices. Of concern are the dealings between Mainga and the Chinese firm involved in the construction of SGR and its operations. Prior to Mainga’s sacking, KRC demoted all senior managers in early March 2018.

Mary Oyuke

Those affected include longserving finance general manager Alfred Matheka, who was named financial controller. Mary Oyuke, then corporate affairs manager, found herself as assistant corporate affairs manager office holder. Ibrahim Mwadime, the ICT manager, was demoted to become assistant ICT manager.
The tension was so palpable that Nicholas Mutunga, then security manager, fainted in office upon learning he had been moved to assistant security manager.
Lucy Njoroge, then procurement manager’s new office was that of inventory manager, with Thuranira Kinangwi -TT as popular known then – the general manager business development was moved to research and development. Remy Koech, then risk and audit manager was named corporate manager.
Also to feel the heat was Victoria Mulwa, a senior legal manager whose new post was assistant manager, legal affairs. Jackline Mboga, then financial accountant manager became assistant finance manager.
It is said the KRC board was deeply involved in the management changes amid claims of favouritism and nepotism in the demotions.The move saw some of those demoted resigning.
Apart from Waweru, others who sit on KRC board are Esther Koimmet, the Transport PS, Kamau Thugge (PS, National Treasury), Daniel Manduku (MD,
Kenya Ports Authority), Hellen Karu, Kimanthi Maingi, Lelgo Kibyegon, Christopher Mumo, Rahab Nyaga, John Cherogony, Hellen Mungania and, of course, Mainga.
Insiders say Mainga’s relationship with Hellem Mungania, corporation secretary in the SGR compensations department is the talk of the town.

KPA Managing Director Daniel Manduku

In fact, it is said Mungania was instrumental in leaking confidential documents to public to scuttle a number of recent business engagements by KRC. One notable case was the granting of Mombasa governor Hassan Joho’s firm a contract to transport bulk cargo to Nairobi inland depot that also was given by KRC on a 55-year lease. The land belongs to KRC. The firm was to sue SGR in the transportation business.
Joho visited Nairobi governor Mike Sonko in his office to process business permits and pay land rates when KRC allocated the 20 acres to his firm adjacent to Nairobi Freight Terminal.
It is said Waweru is close to the Joho family since the days he was at the helm of KRA. At KRA, the Joho family which has vast interest in container freight stations.
The wars at KRC board are so vicious that at one time Waweru attacked Mainga for having invited multisectoral state agencies team to probe the rampant malpractices.


It is said Mungania, the KRC legal adviser, has linked Waweru to the allocation of 20 acres of land to Joho’s CFS and said Raila Odinga talked to Uhuru Kenyatta to give the greenlight.
,Lately, Joho who until recently was a fierce critic of Uhuru has developed close ties with the president, thanks to the March 9 2018 handshake between Uhuru and Raila. The deal to operate the inland container depot by the Joho family in Nairobi was struck when Uhuru and Joho attended Raila’s birthday party at his Mombasa residence.
Another file being used to fix Waweru is the involvement of Zamara Ltd, where he is the chairman. Zamara is currently in charge of KRC’s pension scheme. As its chairman, Waweru is accused of conflict of interest since he also chairs the KRC board.
As for now, with sexual abuse accusations, alleged employment malpractices and SGR compensation scam on Mainga’s neck, it is eagerly awaited what is likely to befall him. However with the board deeply divided and with Waweru also being cornered, many expect the board to advertise and start the recruitment process for the MD positions.
This comes amid word that Mainga is lobbying the board and human resource department to have his six- month period extended to allow the board time to recruit most likely by end of the year.
Mainga is currently involved in a love triangle that has seen former National Irrigation Board director general Daniel Barasa’s marriage to former Thika MP Alice Ng’ang’a break.
Informed sources say Mainga has been reaching out to business wheelerdealers close to CS Macharia including powerful politicians to have his contract extended. He is promising them lucrative business deals once the term is extended.


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