Tension is high at Kenya Rural Roads Authority with top managers blaming Director
General Philemon Kandie for openly engaging in witch-hunt and being out to control
strategic departments. Kandie boasts to be untouchable and allegedly enjoys political protection of Baringo senator Gideon Moi.
In fact, in secret he claims he is lobbying to replace sober-minded Peter Mundinia as Director General at Kenya National Highways Authority. Mundinia’s term is set to end later this year and already his succession race is on. An insider at KeRRA revealed how Kandie is feared to an extent no one ever wishes to share a lift with him. A story is told of how, at one time, he summoned Julius Gakubia to his office. On arrival, Gakubia sweated profusely as Kandie with his eyes turning red told him he had transferred him from the plum maintenance department to strategic. Gakubia tells those who want to hear that that was the day the ground almost swallowed him and he will never visit Kandie’s office if alone.
To Gakubia, Kandie has warrior blood in his system. Two engineers we talked to revealed that they are forced by Kandie to allegedly manipulate reports in favour of highest bidders as Kandie plants cronies in strategic departments to rake in millions in kickbacks. We have in our possession volumes of documents in relation to tender
manipulations some that have even landed at Public Procurement Authority. A list of
construction firms being favoured across counties ’ projects is also available.
According to sources, top managers have registered firms using and operated by relatives and friends as proxies that win lucrative tenders and payments made promptly. That Kandie is openly engaged in witch-hunting and sexual harassment
is well manifested in a case involving Margaret Wanja Muthui.
On Febuary 10, 2021, Kandie wrote to her in relationship to handing over. It is in reference to letter No KeRRA-10-71-Vol 2-14 dated 10 February last year almost one year down the line. It states that following her release to report to the principal secretary ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Public Works, you are required to ensure a smooth handing over to incoming acting deputy director supply chain management. The letter further states, in this regard, please arrange to hand over all the functions, responsibilities and assets of the office of the deputy director, supply chain management to the incoming officer Catherine Kangangi.
Why Kandie specifically picked on Kangangi is the talk at KeRRA. The two have been spotted in secret places together and it seems Kandie wants a friendly face to be in charge of supplies as he sees Muthui part of the cartel that did not want him director general. Many senior managers were pushing for an outsider to land the DG slot at KeRRA. The same is said to be at KeNHA with the looming Mudinia exist. But Kandie’s move suffered a major blow when Labour Court suspended a decision by KeRRA to deploy Muthui to the ministry.
Employment and Labour Relations judge Maureen Onyango reinstated Muthui to her position pending hearing and determination of a case she has filed. In an affidavit, Wanja argues, the deployment was after a disputed tender in which she gave an independent, reasonable opinion as expected of her office. Wanja has sued the
ministry of Transport, KeRRA and the Attorney General. Through lawyer Nicholas
Sumba, Wanja says this is the second time the letter is being written removing her from the procurement managerial position with KeRRA and deploying her to the ministry of Transport office.