John Michael Njenga Mututho

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John Michael Njenga Mututho (EBS) is a Kenyan politician and the current Chairman of the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Board. He is a former Member of Parliament and previously belonged to the Kenya African National Union and was elected to represent the Naivasha Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya in the Kenyan parliamentary election, 2007.[1]

Education[edit]

Mr. Mututho has a Diploma in Range Management from Egerton University, Kenya and a Bsc in Range Management and Agriculture from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Resource Economics and an Msc. in Environment Economics from Latrobe University, Australia.

Career[edit]

Before his service in Parliament, Mr. Mututho worked in the civil service for 11 years and was a coordinator of the International Agencies and Government of Kenya projects in Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) for 2 years. He designed a water harvesting systems implemented by FAO in Kenya and Ethiopia using shallow pit systems. He was also Chairman of Board of Governors Naivasha Girls Secondary School for 7 years and helped transform the school into a top performer. He founded Computers for Schools Kenya (CFSK) in 2002, an NGO through which more than 70,000 computers have been distributed to schools countrywide.

In 2005, John Mututho was charged for fraud relating to transactions between August and December 2001.[2] Mr Mututho is alleged to have obtained KES 41.5 million using fake Kenya Revenue Authority claiming that he was entitled to a tax refund channeled to the Kenyatta National Hospital which Mututho's company had supplied beddings. The case is ongoing as of April 2014 with John Mututho being the only witness for the defense. Speaking out about the case, Mututho claimed that his legal troubles were politically motivated as the case was initiated while he was campaigning against the constitution during Kenya's 2005 referendum.[3] In July 2014, Mututho was cleared of the fraud charges due to lack of evidence.[4]

Career in parliament[edit]

John Mututho was sworn in as Member of Parliament after a High Court decision declaring him the winner of the 2007 parliamentary elections for Naivasha Constituency.[5] In February 2014, a court ordered Mututho to deposit KES 6.4 million or have his property auctioned after he lost a case seeking the court to review the costs of his 2007 election petition.[6] As a Member of Parliament, John Mututho served as Chairman Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources which was later renamed the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives that then oversaw 6 Ministries. Mututho is also known for introducing the Alcohol Control Bill which among other things limits the operation time of bars and others alcohols selling outlets to 5:00 PM till 11:00 PM on weekdays and 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM on weekends and legalizes consumption and sale of traditional alcoholic beverages. The Alcohol Control Act was enacted in 2010.

In one of the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, John Mututho is mentioned as having received a letter from the United States Embassy in Nairobi informing him that his and his family's US visa eligibility was being reviewed following indications that he funded Kikuyu youth in Kenya's 2007/2008 election violence.[7] It in unclear whether Mututho ever responded to the letter by the US Embassy.

As Chairman of NACADA[edit]

President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed John Mututho as the Chairman of NACADA on 20th November 2013 after parliament approved his nomination. Parliament chose to ignore a recommendation from a vetting committee that found him unfit for office over a pending fraud case.[8] Mututho's previous appointment to head NACADA had been revoked by the president via gazette notice after it was revealed that the President had made the appointment without parliamentary approval.[9]

Soon after his appointment, John Mututho publicly contemplated controlling private gatherings in which alcohol was served during the Christmas Season.[10] The announcement received sharp reaction by the Kenyan public and Mututho was criticized for attempting to infringe on Kenyans' constitutional right to privacy.[11] In an interview on radio, Mututho claimed that his statement had been misinterpreted saying that he had proposed the licensing of alcohol distributors who made deliveries to homes or private parties and not the widely held claim that he wanted to license house parties themselves.[12]

In January 2014, the Nation newspaper reported that John Mututho was interfering with an audit of NACADA's Alcoholic Drinks Control Fund which he claimed had KES 400 million missing.[13] The report also alleged that since appointment, John Mututho had demanded an increase in sitting allowance as well as other perks and that he had at several times overstepped his mandate as a non-executive Chairman of NACADA.[14] On January 30 2014, Mututho refused to endorse a preliminary audit report clearing NACADA's CEO of misappropriating funds from the Alcoholic Drinks Control Fund stating that he needed time to go through the report.[15]

In June 2014, Mututho was report as spearheading attempts by NACADA to lobby for the death penalty of persons convicted of causing death by selling illicit alcoholic brews.[16] On 25 June 2014, NACADA banned nineteen Hookah flavors found to contain banned substances.[17] The decision was announced to the media by John Mututho. In early July 2014, Mututho claimed that the Governor for Machakos County, Dr. Alfred Mutua, had failed to prevent the abuse of drugs and alcohol by minors in a recently held rugby tournament and further advised that the event be banned.[18] Mututho faced backlash from residents of the county terming the allegations as outrageous and far-fetched.[19] Social media responded to Mututho's allegations as his attempt at banning everything.[20]

A report in The Star, a Kenyan newspaper, implicated John Mututho in a scandal where he is alleged to have received irregular allowances from NACADA. As Chairman of government corporation, Mr Mututho is entitled to a honorarium of KES 80,000 per month and KES 7,000 for airtime.[21] Mr Mututho is alleged to have paid himself allowances for out of town meetings which he claimed to be work related and to have given himself executive powers contrary to the State Corporations Act which stipulates that Chairs of government parastatals are non-executive. The report also claims that Mututho spearheaded the payment of millions of shillings in advertising after a spike in deaths related to illicit alcohol in May 2014 as well as a payout to the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation for advertisements during the 2014 World Cup. Both transactions were not cleared by the procurement or tender committee. The NACADA Board of Directors refused to honour the contract with KBC alleging that proper procurement and tender channels were not followed.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Members Of The 10th Parliament. Parliament of Kenya. Accessed June 19, 2008.
  2. ^ John Mututho to answer fraud case, Nation, April 17 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  3. ^ Fraud case against me a conspiracy, Nacada boss John Mututho claims, Standard Digital News, June 11 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  4. ^ Nacada boss cleared of fraud charges against Kenyatta National Hospital, The Star, 25 July 2014 (accessed 25 July 2014)
  5. ^ High Court confirms Mututho as Naivasha MP, Standard Digital News, December 2 2008 (accessed on July 3 2014)
  6. ^ Mututho ordered to part with Sh6.4mn by end of Thursday, Capital News, February 20 2014 (accessed July 3 2014)
  7. ^ Wikileaks names Kenyans barred from USA, Capital News, March 2 2011 (accessed 3 July 2013)
  8. ^ Mututho returns as Nacada boss, Nation, November 20 2013 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  9. ^ Mututho's Nacada appointment revoked, The Star, November 6 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  10. ^ No house party with no permit - Mututho, The Star, 12 December 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  11. ^ Lawyers query Mututho orders on house parties, Nation, December 15 2013 (accessed 3 July 2013)
  12. ^ Mututho clarifies the party license rule, Capital News, December 18 2013 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  13. ^ Nacada boss and agency’s officials embroiled in a war of attrition, Daily Nation, January 18 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  14. ^ See, Daily Nation, January 18 2014
  15. ^ Nacada boss refuses to step aside, Daily Nation, January 31 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  16. ^ Mututho seeks death penalty for killer brew peddlers, Capital News, June 25 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  17. ^ NACADA Bans 19 Shisha Flavours, The Star, 25 June 2014 (Accessed 3 June 2014)
  18. ^ Mututho wants the Masaku Sevens banned, The Star, 2 July 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  19. ^ Nacada boss faces blackash over claims, Standard Digital News, 2 June 2014 (accessed 3 June 2014)
  20. ^ Kenyans react to John Mututho's Masaku Sevens Remark, Nation, 3 June 2014 (accessed 3 June 2014)
  21. ^ SPOTLIGHT: Mututho paid illegal allowances, The Star, June 30 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)
  22. ^ Mututho in trouble over KBC World Cup deal, The Star, 28 June 2014 (accessed 3 July 2014)