The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) board is battling claims that some powerful operatives in government were seeking to influence the process for the recruitment of a substantive managing trustee/CEO.
Insiders at the cash-rich state corporation (NSSF) have revealed that there was a push to have Local Authorities Provident Fund (LAPFUND) Chief Executive Officer David Koross named as NSSF chief executive despite massive corruption allegations facing LAPFUND where he is the in charge.
They alleged that the position had to be re-advertised to accommodate Koross after he failed to make it to the short list in the first round.
“He (Koross) is now among the nine candidates to be interviewed for the top job at NSSF next week and there is intense pressure for the board to confirm him to the position despite several queries raised on his suitability following the ongoing Ksh 16 billion investigations at his current firm – LAPFUND,”
said an official at NSSF who preferred anonymity due to sensitivity of the matter.
The official said the interviews have delayed due to the push to have Koross appointed to the highest office and failed to take off on Friday May 12 due to lack of quorum.
The concerns by the board, according to officials at NSSF emanated from EACC investigations on Ksh 16 billion probe at LAPFUND among other financial improprieties at the authority.
The investigation started in December last year following a petition by a whistleblower to EACC.
The official who claimed to be a senior officer at the authority petitioned EACC over what he termed as irregularities in the tender process for a housing project at Bellevue, Nairobi, by the authority.
The official, in his petition, accused some senior members of the Lapfund board of influencing the inflation of the tender cost from Ksh 8 billion to Ksh 16 billion to allegedly factor in “kickbacks for a section of top management.”
“From the onset, Lapfund had planned to execute the project within a budget of Sh8 billion, which has since been inflated and adjusted upwards to accommodate kickbacks for a section of the top management.”
“Ultimately, the management passed the decision, albeit under pressure, to advertise the tender at a budget of Sh 12 billion, which is almost double the initial estimates of Sh 8 billion. The tender was advertised and closed on November 8, 2022,”
read the report.
In his petition to the EACC, the official urged the commission to intervene and stop the impending loss of members’ contributions amounting to Sh16 billion through irregular procurement being spearheaded by the Lapfund management.
He alleged that Lapfund had moved to develop a property at Bellevue in Nairobi at a budget of Ksh 8 billion but under the influence of top management, the cost was inflated by Ksh 4 billion to Ksh 12 billion by the time the tender was advertised and closed in November last year.
The position of NSSF managing trustee fell vacant following the exit of Anthony Omerikwa who left the position last year after serving his single three-year term.
The board of NSSF then named David Mwangangi to head the organisation in an acting capacity effective November 2022.
Dr Omerikwa had held the position in an acting capacity for four years until November 22, 2019, when he was appointed substantively.
The board is planning to get Mr Omerikwa’s replacement at a time NSSF has seen a high turnover of managing trustees, each leaving under a cloud of scandal.
Since 2002, more than 10 managing trustees have been shown the door on allegations of impropriety.
Among those who have served in the position in the last few years include Rachel Lumbasyo, Naftali Mogere, Ben Mtuweta, Jos Konzolo and Samuel Muindi.
Others are Tom Odongo, Alex Kazongo, David Masika, Fred Rabongo as well as James Akoya.