Following the breaking news story in the Kenyan media yesterday over apparently unauthorized and fraudulent expenditure worth dozens of millions of Kenya Shillings the Board’s CEO Dr. Achieng Ongong’a was pushed out of office.
A member of the board of directors of KTB was also suspended from his position over allegations of having conspired with the CEO to funnel about 36 million Shillings to his tour company without following laid down rules and procedures for procurements.
This development deals a heavy blow to KTB’s reputation, probably a reason for the swift and sharp reaction, which is thought to have been triggered by the board’s chairman, aimed at preventing further damage to the organisation in the public’s eye and the international market place.
The CEO had been on forced leave for a few weeks, after the allegations first surfaced through the rumour mill in Kenya, but when the results emerged it was clear that he had to go. He had been at the helm of KTB for just over 5 years, during which Kenya made great strides to diversify her tourism products and become the undisputed number one for tourism in Eastern Africa.
Dr. Ongong’a had up this point been rather at the centre of shaping the success of Kenya’s hitherto best tourism year in 2007, before the post election political violence crushed the tourism sector’s performance in 2008. However, recovery and action programmes were drawn up swiftly in early 2008 and began showing some results, before this unmitigated PR disaster hit KTB.