Deadman appointed to government - Robert Kochalle www.businesstoday.co.ke
late Kochalle was re-appointed together with Gathoni Kung'u and Nereah Aluoch Okanga, [ Photo / business today ]

Dead men don’t tell tales, but in Kenya they actually get jobs and draw salaries. The issue of ghost workers has become a norm in civil service – where ‘ghosts’ keep drawing salaries long after their soul-carriers passed on.

That bizarre phenomenon was taken to a new level after ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru re-appointed a dead man to serve as a member of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB). 

Through a gazette notice published on Wednesday, 16th October 16, the CS announced the re-appointment of Robert Kochalle, who died on May 28, 2018, touching off fury and mockery from Kenyans.

The late Kochalle was re-appointed together with Gathoni Kung’u and Nereah Aluoch Okanga, a clear indication of the rot in government and people sleeping on the job.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 11A (e) of the Film and Stage Plays Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Technology, re-appoints Gathoni Kung’u, Robert Kochalle, Nereah Alouch Okanga as members of the Kenya Film Classification Board, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 21st October, 2019,” read the gazette notice.

It is baffling how that could happen given that gazette notices go through many approval stages in government, including the legal departments.

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The deceased, having had a successful career in public service where he also served as the MP Laisamis between 1992 and 1997 – should have been an easy pick by the editors or fact-checkers in government or at the Government Printer. Kochellah also served as an assistant minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

The Tribute by Kenya Film Classification Board published in June.

In fact, in June 2018, KFCB had published a prominent orbituary of Konchellah in the newspapers.

Kenya Film and Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua has defended Mucheru for the erroneous appointment.

In a statement posted on Twitter by the KFCB boss, he stated that the matter was being blown out of proportion, noting that it was a mistake.

“The Board presented the notification to the Ministry for replacement and inadvertently he was reappointed. It was not CS Mucheru’s mistake at all,” Mutua said in a statement.

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Further, he stated that the re-appointment of positions started when KFCB was under the Ministry of Sports and Culture.

In August, it was reported that a number of people who died years ago were still recorded as members of current health facility management boards in Embu County. Records showed that the dead members have attended board meetings in at least two health facilities.

Deadman chairs meeting

In one of these, a dead chairman even had his term “renewed.” At Kathanje Health Centre in Mumunji Ward, records indicated the management board was still chaired by a man who died years ago. His tenure was ‘renewed’ in December last year.

The dead man is indicated as having chaired all the board meetings. In Kyeni North Ward, a man who died years ago is still gazetted as a board member.

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