State House to get a new Comptroller, Dr Nelson Githinji, a Private Sector Professional

State House to get a new Comptroller - Private sector leader tipped to take up post

STATE House may be about to get a new Comptroller from the private sector after the high-risk post has remained vacant for nine months.

Dr Nelson Githinji, the Head of Policy, Corporate and Government Relations for Coca Cola East and Central Africa, is being actively considered as the replacement for State House Comptroller.

The Comptroller is the accounting officer of State House and is in charge of all administration affairs and oversees logistics.

State House had not had a substantive Comptroller since the sudden departure of Hyslop Ipu last December.

Nick Wanjohi, former JKUA vice chancellor, briefly took on the post in an acting capacity but early this year was also ejected from State House. He was then appointed the President's private secretary operating from Harambee House.

In 2005 Ipu took over as Comptroller from Kibaki's long time friend, Matere Keriri, who was appointed after the Narc government took power.

Keriri served as Comptroller for two years before he was shown the door.

By the time he was leaving in January 2005, the relationship between Keriri and the First Lady Lucy Kibaki had become frosty, allegedly because of his close association to then Narc activist Mary Wambui.

Lucy pointedly skipped shaking Keriri's outstretched hand when he and other dignitaries lined up to received the First Family as they arrived in Nairobi from their Christmas holiday in Mombasa.

Ipu was appointed Private Secretary and Comptroller of State House in January 2004 replacing Matere Keriri

Curiously, Ipu's departure also involved the Christmas break at the Coast. He was sent home under unclear circumstances early this year after the last minute cancellation of the traditional New Year dance in Mombasa.

A few days after, Keriri was no longer at the State House and he had been replaced by Ipu.

In April 2009, President Kibaki split the post of State House Comptroller into two and appointed Prof Nick Wanjohi the Private Secretary.

Wanjohi is a former Vice-Chancellor at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, a member of the President's inner circle and a key advisor.

He has been working at State House since the end of his term as Vice-Chancellor in March last year.

A PPS statement in May explained that the Comptroller would be responsible for finance and administration, while the private secretary would handle the President's diary and official programmes.

A month after Wanjohi took over the Private Secretary's job, Michael Ndung'u Kamau — who was acting Comptroller — was asked to vacate the office and has since been re-deployed.

Contacted yesterday, Githinji declined to comment and referred the Star to State House.

When contacted Presidential Press Service director Isaya Kabira promised to call back but at the time of going to press, Kabira had not issued a statement, or returned our calls or text messages.

"You know these lines have been having problems. Its not clear.. I can't hear you., let me call back," stated Kabira.

We also sent text messages requesting a comment but he did not respond to either.

If appointed, Githinji will be the fourth person to hold the office in the eight years that Kibaki has been at State House. His predecessor had only five State House Comptrollers in the 24 years he served as president.

Githinji is a member of several boards. He is a director of Junior Achievement Kenya that exposes learners to the opportunities of the global economy.

Last year in June, Githinji represented the First Lady Lucy Kibaki at the Organization of Africa First Ladies meeting in Egypt at Sharm El-Sheikh on June 30, 2008.

Githinji is an active member of the Kenyan Chapter of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS.

Speculation has been rife that getting along with the First Lady is part of the unofficial job description.

Githinji is also an official of Kenya Private Sector Alliance and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya.

Last week, Githinji was among several officials of Kenya Private Sector association who appealed to MPs to support various Bills that will make it easier to do business in Kenya.

The group identified the enactment of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti Money Laundering Bill and business licensing reforms.

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One Response to State House to get a new Comptroller, Dr Nelson Githinji, a Private Sector Professional

kenyapolitics said...

Confirmed, Dr Nelson Githinji is the new statehouse comptroller