Ezra Chiloba has been in the headlines this week following his unceremonious exit as Director-General of the Communications Authority of Kenya after only a year in office. Chiloba was kicked out over various financial missteps and claims of impropriety detailed in an audit report.
No stranger to controversy and being hounded out of public office, Chiloba shot to public prominence during his tumultuous stint as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) during the 2017 General Elections. The elections were infamously marred with illegalities and irregularities, and the Supreme Court ordered a repeat election. Chiloba was forced out amid accusations of his involvement in flawed procurement processes feared to have cost taxpayers millions.
He was twice suspended by the IEBC before eventually being fired over the procurement scandal. The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee put Chiloba on the spot for opting for direct procurement in tenders worth Ksh6.5 billion during the 2017 polls.
In the most recent controversy at CA, the Special Board Audit and Risk Committee found that Chiloba applied for and self-approved a Ksh25 million mortgage loan to facilitate the purchase of a property without subjecting the transaction to interrogation and approval by a higher authority. The money was remitted to Kitale Hilmost Ltd, a company owned solely by Chiloba.
Chiloba is also said to have purchased a house and seven acres of land, far beyond the one-acre limit stipulated by the Civil Servants Housing scheme requirement. The committee disclosed that Chiloba’s loan application was approved by a junior staff member and that there was no evidence that the staff member carried out requisite due diligence and advice management.
Besides the recently acquired house and seven acres of land, Chiloba owns several other properties. Prior to joining IEBC, he had made money in the private sector and development world. Among organizations he worked for prior to IEBC are the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a Program Analyst, Oxfam as a Program Officer and the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) as a Human Rights Officer.
Notably, he also set up his own consulting firm Chil and Kemp Strategies where he is a partner, and was the Founding Director at Policy House.
He owns a large land parcel and home in Trans Nzoia county. Chiloba has previously stated that he acquired the land in 2011.
He has invested heavily in agriculture. On his farm, he grows 600 passion-fruit trees, 500 tissue culture bananas, 100 avocado trees and 340 coffee trees and indigenous trees.