Ezra Chiloba served half of his four-year tenure before his suspension over alleged corrupt practices.

Ezra Chiloba, the director-general or CEO of Kenya’s ICT watchdog, the Communications Authority (CA), has been suspended. The CA alleges that Chiloba engaged in corrupt practices that attempted to defraud the agency of KES 25 million ($170,000). Part of the agency’s audit reads, “As the accounting officer there was gross misconduct of the process to acquire a mortgage for himself as is demonstrated by disbursement of the loan of KES 25,000,000 to Kitale Hilmost Limited. A company search with the Business Registration Bureau revealed that the seller entity is owned entirely, as the sole shareholder and the sole director, by Ezra Chiloba Simiyu, the director general who is also the buyer in this case. This is reasonably construed to be demonstrative of an intent to defraud the Authority.”

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The CA’s audit report highlights potential disciplinary action against Chiloba for gross misconduct, including negligence of duty, failure to conduct due diligence on transactions, and overall misconduct in his office. Per an audit, these issues involved approving his mortgage, overvaluing properties, and clearing staff without reviewing mortgages, resulting in significant financial risks for the CA. “Disciplinary action on account of gross misconduct is contemplated as the audit indicates that the Director General has fundamentally breached his obligations arising under the contract of service,” the CA said in a statement.

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Chiloba was appointed as CA’s CEO two years ago and was previously the CEO of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Following the development, Christopher Wambua has assumed the acting director-general role, starting today until further notice. Chiloba succeeded Mercy Wanjau, who served the same role in an interim position after the exit of the late Francis Wangusi. Chiloba has served half of his four-year tenure. It is not clear if he will return to the helm of affairs at the CA or if his suspension will be made permanent.

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