Ezra Chiloba: Reasons CA boss has been suspended

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Ezra Chiloba, Director General Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) was on Monday night suspended and linked to the mishandling of a Ksh.662 Million staff mortgage scheme. An audit revealed significant losses in recent years within the administration of the CA Staff Mortgage Scheme.

Chiloba, during the audit, was found to have self-approved a Kshs.25 Million mortgage loan for a property transaction with Jacob Simiyu Wakhungu without proper scrutiny or higher authority approval. He also acquired a house and seven acres of land, exceeding the Civil Servants Housing scheme’s one-acre limit.

Ezra Chiloba
Ezra Chiloba, suspended as Director General of The Communications Authority of Kenya. Photo/Courtesy

Notably, Chiloba’s loan application was approved by a junior staff member without adequate due diligence, raising concerns about the transaction’s legitimacy. The funds were remitted to an account under the name of Kitale Hilmost Ltd, Chiloba’s company.

The audit uncovered major irregularities in the scheme’s administration, leading to loan defaults amounting to Ksh.28,874,815.62 due to a lack of consideration for contract terms or terms of service.

Additionally, there was a significant disparity in property valuation between government and private valuers, with an example being a Ksh.10.7 million difference in one of Chiloba’s property valuations.

Ezra Chiloba
Ezra Chiloba giving a speech at the Communications Authority of Kenya. Photo/Courtesy

Default in mortgage repayment was also discovered for staff who had left the Authority, including former CA Director General Mercy Wanjau, who defaulted on her Ksh.19.9 million mortgage.

Furthermore, the auditors found cases of understated loan balances for former staff, inadequate approvals for architectural plans, absence of site visits, poor records management, failure to insure property, and other issues, raising concerns about the scheme’s administration.

The total size of the loan book for the scheme as of June 2023 was Ksh.662,405,123.94, comprising construction loans, house purchase loans, loan refinancing loans, and outstanding loan balances for ex-staff.

In response, the committee recommended disciplinary actions against Chiloba and sanctions against key CA officials involved in the scheme’s management. Christopher Wambua was appointed as Acting Director General following Chiloba’s suspension.

Ezra Chiloba
Ezra Chiloba (pictured) during his tenure as IEBC Chief Executive Officer. Photo/Courtesy

Chiloba, formerly the CEO of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, had been in his role as CA Director General since September 2021.

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