Media Council CEO Fires CS Mucheru's Appointee

  • Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo (Second from the Left) with members of the council during a press briefing in Nairobi.
    Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo (Second from the Left) with members of the council during a press briefing in Nairobi.
    File
  • A leaked letter is the cause of internal wrangles pitting media chiefs against one another, roping in ICT CS Joe Mucheru and Attorney General Kariuki Kihara. 

    Media Council of Kenya (MCK) CEO David Omwoyo dismissed Tabitha Mutemi as a member of the board which regulates the media industry in a leaked letter dated January 11. 

    Omwoyo argued that Mutemi, who was appointed to the board by CS Joe Mucheru, could not serve since she was an employee of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

     IEBC Corporate Affairs Manager and Association of Professional Broadcasters (APB) Tabitha Mutemi
    IEBC Corporate Affairs Manager and Association of Professional Broadcasters (APB) Tabitha Mutemi
    File

    “The secretariat will no longer recognise Ms Mutemi as a board member of the Media Council of Kenya with immediate effect,” the letter copied to Mutemi and ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, reads.

    Omwoyo also confirmed the letter saying, “I confirm that Tabitha ceased to be a member of the board.”

    The action has triggered a flurry of exchanges between the CEO and MCK Board Chairman Maina Muiruri.

    Mutemi’s lawyers have also termed her removal as illegal, in what could escalate to a court battle. 

    Kilonzo and Company Advocates argued that their client was being targeted for questioning suspicious expenditure at the council.

    “You have no jurisdiction to remove or purport not to recognise a member appointed by the Cabinet Secretary in a gazette notice,” Kilonzo and Company Advocates wrote to the MCK CEO.

    “The Cabinet Secretary as the appointing authority is the only person who can cause the removal from office of Ms Mutemi," the letter added. 

    Apart from being the IEBC corporate communications manager, Tabitha is also the chairperson of the Association of Professional Broadcasters (APB).

    She started her media career working with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), then moved to the defunct Presidential Press Service after which she worked with an advertising agency before returning to public service. 

    Information and Communication Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru during a past event
    Information and Communication Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru during a past event
    Daily Nation