Will Epra DG Pavel Oimeke Survive This?

by Street Lawyer
Pavel Oimeke

As the term of Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) boss, Pavel Oimeke comes to an end this week, uncertainty surrounds the renewal of his term, Mahakamani News can report.

Oimeke took over the Director General’s position in 2017 and his tenure has been riddled with corruption scandals accusations and nepotism.

Oimeke survived the Kenya Power purge that claimed former Kenya Power CEO Ken Tarus and others. The DG was highly involved in the manipulation of Kenya Power meters. He has always been quick to cite drought to justify the Fuel Cost Charge.

Until last Friday, top ministry of Energy officials remained guarded on the fate of the Epra boss, which has been contested in court with the latest petition certified as urgent on Friday and hearing set for tomorrow before Justice Byram Ongaya of the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

Petition 114 of 2020 seeks to bar the Ministry of Energy from reappointing the current officeholder for another three years until the hearing and determination with the petitioner seeking the position to be filled competitively.

“Automatic appointment without any form of competition will be prejudicial to interested Kenyans who would have applied for the position of DG in the authority hence will be discriminatory and a violation of Article 27 of the Constitution and section 5 of the Employment Act,” the petitioner says.

An earlier application filed in March by a Mr Dindi Oscar Okumu was withdrawn on July 13 in a matter that the petitioner personally initiated without the lawyers who had been representing him in the case.

Mr Okumu had also sought conservatory orders restraining the parent ministry from deliberating, renewing and or extending the contract of Mr Oimeke as the director-general Epra until the application had been heard and determined.

The petitioner accused the Epra boss of irregular issuance of licences and appointments that had failed to ‘reflect the face of Kenya’ with close to 80 percent of his recruits reportedly from one community.

“That for the last two and a half years that the 1st respondent has managed the authority, his tenure has been marred with massive corruption, losses to the authority and the general public, tribalism, abuse of office, mismanagement of the authority and its resources, intimidation of employees, subverting of justice by the withdrawal of cases against illegal petroleum and gas business operators, illegal tendering and contracts, irregular earning of pension contributions from the authority and tax evasion among others,” Mr Okumu wrote in a sworn affidavit.

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