Eziekel Mutua has found himself between a very good job and the prospect of joblessness. With rumours already swirling around over his imminent exit, the d*e appears to be cast for the outspoken CEO of the Kenya Film Classification Board.
Mr Mutua’s second term expires on October 25th, 2021, and by the look of things, he is not about to leave. Already there are reports that he has been scheming to extend his term, forcing the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) to write to ICT Cabinet Secretary, Mr Joe Mucheru, advising against extension of his term.
Yesterday, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr appeared to try to forestall Mr Mutua’s exit by ‘breaking’ the news that ICT Cabinet Secretary had removed him from KFCB. “Ezekiel Mutua unlawfully removed by CS Mucheru as CEO after being lawfully appointed by the Board,” he wrote on Twitter. “Laws are mere suggestions for this administration.”
The social media ‘leak’ looks calculated, perhaps by Mutua himself, to generate sympathy and excite emotions against the CS.
Cleverly, though, Mr Mutua is playing dump over the matter. In his response, he dons a brave face, saying there’s no such thing and termed the reports “malicious rumours”.
“My attention has been drawn to reports on social media to the effect that I have been fired as CEO of KFCB,” he said in a post on Social Media. “PLEASE IGNORE such malicious rumours. I am not aware of such developments and there can be no grain of truth in them as there’s no vacancy in the office of the CEO KFCB.”
A former Daily Nation sub-editor, Mutua was appointed CEO of KFCB in October 2015 with his term set to expire in October 2018. The contract was then renewed by KFCB Board for another three years with the backing of SCAC who stated that the renewal was based on Dr Mutua’s performance. Reviewing his scorecard in 2018, SCAC gave him a rating of 86.7% and 99.1% for the Financial Year 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 respectively.
Mr Mutua’s quest for an extra term has stirred a boardroom tension at KFCB. Like SCAC, those who want Mr Mutua out argue that a renewal of his term would be i*****l and void. The letter by a KFCB insider quotes a circular that outlined the policy to guide the reappointment of CEOs of state corporations.
The policy provides that in instances where the board is not recommending the reappointment of the incumbent CEO (in the event of performance evaluation outcomes, or limitations on term as above), then such CEO should be required to proceed on terminal leave in the last six months of tenure to pave the way for the new appointment.
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With barely three months to the expiry of his term, Mr Mutua still sits pretty in his position at a time he should be on terminal, perhaps an indication that he may well have his way and get three more years.
The letter to the CS continues to say, “… any decision made relating to renewal of the CEO’s contract should not be executed and any such decision and the e*******n thereof shall have consequences borne by those responsible for the same individually and collectively.”
Even as f****s for three more years behind the scenes, the public mood appears against him.
The sender asks the CS to take action against KFCB board members found complicit in participating in the irregularities.
Meanwhile, SCAC claims Dr Mutua had discussed with the board the possibility of renewing his contract for another three years before the current one expires. SCAC, which is pushing for the CS to kick out Dr Mutua, also wants disciplinary action against the KFCB board which “knowingly convened to deliberate and make a determination on a matter that is already pre-determined and not feasible”.
Even as f****s for three more years behind the scenes, the public mood appears against him. Recently, a group of artists led by comedian Eric Omondi said they would petition President Uhuru Kenyatta to remove Mr Mutua from office for “publicly blasting them instead of helping them”.
Mr Mutua has been against s****t content plied by some of these artists.
On social media, opinion is tilted more to celebrating his possible exit, while some encourage him to take it in stride. @PeterMKihiu, responding to Mr Mutua’s statement says, “@EzekielMutua Unemployment is awaiting you….utajua hujui ask Bitange Ndemo, once you lose that office you will realize that no one cared about you, you cannot save Kenya, save yourself…ask Mututho who tried to wipe out alcohol from Kenya and now is in deep poverty in Naivasha…..see you, bye.”