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Corrupt Geothermal Development Company managers fight for term extensions

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A battle for survival has ensured at Geothermal Development Company as top managers seek term extensions.

For several months now, Geothermal agency has been rocked by internal wrangles in the top management over hiring irregularities.

As the term of seven top managers are coming to an end, intense lobbying for a two-year term extensions for each of the top managers is on top gear.

It’s worth noting that it’s at this very Geothermal Development Company where opinions of experts including scientists in the company have never been heeded, resulting in costly delays in implementing major projects.

Anxiety has gripped the Geothermal Development Company’s top management over the pending lapse of the terms of seven general managers.

The entire process has brought in heavy anxiety as a meeting convened on Tuesday 15 September to discuss extensions of the terms of these managers ended in disarray.

The current team had submitted a request through CEO Jared Othieno that their terms be extended by two years, making the terms five years. They also requested that term renewal be automatic if the person wishes to continue working.

“The matter has already divided the Board of Directors. There are those who consider term extensions an illegality and have vowed to shoot down such efforts,” said a source.

Othieno was appointed in April, replacing Johnson Ole Nchoe who had held the position for four years.

In October 2019, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission halted the recruitment of 11 top managers over allegations of irregularities and nepotism.

Although the company advertised for the positions as required, the process was flawed. The company was put on spot after it emerged that most of those recruited were from one community.

Some employees complained that those hired were given hefty perks and privileges, including interest-free car loans, mortgages and international travel.

With fresh recruitment halted and current team’s terms coming to an end, office holders are fighting for their jobs.

Geothermal Development Company which is under the Energy ministry has been experiencing internal disputes over how major geothermal projects are being implemented.

Some top officials are said to have clashed over reports that the opinions of qualified scientists and other geothermal experts in the company were being disregarded in project design and implementation.

Some have said failure to incorporate expert opinion in the projects had resulted in delays in projects that already had consumed large sums.

Don’t forget that former GDC Managing Director Silas Simiyu and company secretary Praxidis Saisi alongside members of the GDC tender committee namely Nicholas Karume, Abraham Kipchirchir, Peter Ayodo, Godwin Mwagae, Caleb Indiatsi, Bruno Mugambi and Michael Maingi were accused of inflating rig movement charges by over Sh28 million per rig, which totaled Sh1.7 billion.

According to the State, it should have cost taxpayers Sh15 million instead of the Sh42 million per rig that was charged by the firm.

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