The Star (Nairobi)

17 December 2012

Kenya: President Appoints New State House Controller

President Kibaki has appointed diplomat Zachary Muburi-Muita State House Comptroller. The former head of the United Nations office at the African Union took over the new posting last Thursday, according to sources at the President's office.

The office has remained vacant for close to a year after its last holder, Nelson Githinji, was moved in unclear circumstances to the post of director of tourism after a two-year stint.

The appointment will be announced officially this week. Muita becomes the fourth person under Kibaki's tenure to hold the office that involves being the State House's accounting officer after the Office of the President's private secretary was hived from that of the comptroller in 2009.

Githinji's removal followed the unexplained exit of his predecessors Matere Keriri and Hyslop Ipu, who had apparently fallen out of favour with First Lady Lucy Kibaki.

After President Kibaki assumed power in 2003, he appointed Kereri, a long-time political ally, to the post. Keriri was removed from office shortly after what appeared to be a public spat with First Lady at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on June 6, 2004.

Lucy shook hands with the officials in the queue but ignored Keriri. He left office, was appointed chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission and has now plunged into politics.

Ipu, was moved to the Ministry of Roads in April 2009 as secretary-in-charge of administration. President Kibaki split the comptroller post and appointed Prof Wanjohi as Private Secretary to handle his diary.

Prior to his appointment in 2006 as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Muita served his Foreign Service in numerous roles, including as High Commissioner to the United Republic of Tanzania, and previously Principal Counsellor at the Kenya Embassy in Israel.

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