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Ex-KPC MD Tanui summoned over legal officer’s fake papers

Former Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) Managing Director Charles Tanui has been summoned to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations today to answer questions on why the current firm’s Secretary Gloria Khafafa was hired as a legal officer without appropriate papers.

Sources say Mr Tanui will also be questioned on why he reportedly stopped a disciplinary action process and possible prosecution of the lawyer.

When Ms Khafafa applied to work for KPC, she is said to have lied that she holds a CPS(K) qualification and that she was awaiting issuance of a certificate, and she had worked for six years. The position she had sought for required a candidate with eight years experience.

Mr Tanui and other senior officials of KPC are on the spot over multi-million scandals that have rocked the company.

The DCI has opened investigations on Mr Tanui’s tenure at KPC.

MISLED BOARD

Others summoned include Ms Felicity Biriri, a board member, the general manager human resource, the general manager finance and a Mr Henry Lenairoshi of HR department.

Records show that before Ms Khafafa was hired as a senior legal officer, she misled the Board Human Resources committee about her CPS (K) qualifications, which she did not have.

Mr Tanui was informed about the matter in a memo dated March 12, 2014 signed by Rose Ng’inja of HR department, who was seeking his approval “to initiate comprehensive investigation and subsequent disciplinary action.”

“As you may recall”, Mr Tanui was told in the internal memo, “I raised the issue while in your office. You advised me that you would bring the issue before the committee, which you did, but the candidate insisted that she held the qualification…”

BACKGROUND CHECK

When the HR department later undertook background check, they were told by the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries and KASNEB that Ms Khafafa did not have the qualifications.

“It is clear that the candidate gave false information in her letters of application for both the senior legal officer and chief legal officer (positions),” read the Memo to Mr Tanui.

Similarly, the security department also carried out investigations and — in a final report — they recommended Mr Khafafa’s suspension in a letter dated March 17, 2014, and proposed “to report this case to the police since it is a criminal offence and the accused is by profession a custodian of the law and she is well informed of the consequences of document falsification.”

DISCIPLINARY PROCESS

Also, the Board Human Resource Committee also “directed that the management should carry out disciplinary process on Mrs Gloria Khafafa in accordance with the staff rules and regulations, for giving false information to both management and the Board on her qualifications.”

In a letter signed on behalf of Mr Tanui by Ms Ng’inja and dated March 21, Ms Khafafa was asked to “show cause” why disciplinary action should not be taken against her.

The letter to Ms Khafafa said: “It has been established that you have never attempted CPS examination conducted by KASNEB as indicated in your letter for the position.”

But Ms Khafafa was neither suspended nor reported to the police. Instead, she wrote a reply saying it was not her intention to mislead the Board: “At the time I have that statement, I was sincerely under the impression that I had obtained the requisite credits and that any anomalies in my record would be corrected in time.”

PROMOTED

On July 3, 2014, Ms Khafafa was summoned to appear before the disciplinary committee to answer charges on why she “knowingly” misled the Board and why she gave false information to the company while seeking promotion.

But the meeting set for Kenpipe Plaza on July 11 was “cancelled on the MD’s advice” — according to a Memo dated July 10, 2014.

Instead, she was promoted to act as Chief Legal Officer “until she passes her CPS (K) examinations.”

She was later confirmed to the position by the Board in September 2015 rising to become the current company secretary.

The summons will also turn the focus on Ms Khafafa, who is regarded by insiders as a powerful figure within KPC.

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