Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua has addressed reports doing rounds on social media that he has been by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.
Mutua dismissed those reports, urging Kenyans to ignore the malicious rumours while affirming that he is still the CEO of the film board.
He was responding to a Thursday night tweet by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr. which claimed that the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs had kicked him out despite being appointed by the Board.
“Ezekiel Mutua unlawfully removed by CS Mucheru as CEO after being lawfully appointed by the Board. Laws are mere suggestions for this administration,” tweeted the senator.
“My attention has been drawn to reports on social media to the effect that I have been fired as CEO of KFCB. Please ignore such malicious rumours.
“I am not aware of such developments and there can be no grain of truth in them as there’s no vacancy in the office of the CEO KFCB,” he responded shortly after.
Senator Kilonzo’s tweet ignited wild reactions on social media, with many celebrating his ouster before Mutua stepped in to dismiss the rumours.
Mutua has been battling accusations over a planned extension of his office tenure without following due process. In a report by Nairobi News on July 25, 2021, a letter was addressed to ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru stating that the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) found Mutua, constituting a plan to extend his term in office before his current term had expired.
Mutua’s second term in office expires on October 25, 2021.
SCAC further claimed that Mutua had discussed with the board members the possibilities of renewing his contract for another three years before the current one expires in two months’ time.
SCAC whose mandate is to provide directions for effective governance and oversight of State corporations, had urged the CS to initiate Mutua’s early retirement by kicking him out of the office with immediate effect and disciplinary action taken against the KFCB Board.
The State Advisory claimed that members of the board “knowingly convened to deliberate and make a determination on a matter that is already pre-determined and not feasible”.
SCAC declared illegal any decision to renew Mutua’s contract for a third term. Mutua a former journalist, was first elected to the top post at KFCB in October 2015 and his term was set to expire in October 2018.
The contract was renewed by the KFCB Board in that October for another three years with the help of SCAC who stated that the renewal was based on Mutua’s performance in line with Section 11(C) of the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 and Section 5(3) of the State Corporations Act Cap 446.
The alleged plan by SCAC came when a number of artists, led by Eric Omondi led the charge to kick him out of office for publicly criticizing them instead of helping them. In Omondi’s case, Mutua called him broke and poor.