Daily Archives: September 17, 2017

Eskom report to determine Minister’s actions

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says a report she is expecting from the Eskom board will help her decide on the correct action required to restore credibility at the power utility.

On Friday, Minister Brown held a meeting with Eskom’s acting Chairperson Zethemba Khoza and acting Group Chief Executive of Eskom Johnny Dladla.

At the meeting the Minister questioned the electricity utility’s commitment to speedily addressing allegations of maladministration and corruption, thereby beginning to restore public confidence.

The Minister in particular expressed her disappointment at Eskom’s inappropriate and tardy responses to questions she had asked relating to its business relationship with Trillian.

In June the power utility claimed that transactions between Trillian and consultancy firm McKinsey were all above board. However, it is reported a New York-based company red flagged these payments and recommended a legal review. Trillian is reportedly linked to the controversial Gupta family.

The Minister received a report on 1 September from Eskom that was not signed off by Khoza.

The report contained glaring gaps, and the Minister requested further information. Eskom is one of the six state-owned companies falling within the ambit of the Department of Public Enterprises.

The report received followed the Minister’s instructions to the power utility to clarify its business association with Trillian Capital Holdings.

The utility was initially supposed to submit the report on 31 August but the Minister extended the deadline, saying she wanted additional information.

It was recently revealed that information Eskom provided the Minister about its dealings with Trillian, which she used to respond to Parliamentary questions, was inaccurate. At Friday’s meeting the Minister issued Eskom with a final ultimatum, said the Ministry of Public Enterprises.

The Eskom Board is due to meet on Monday with Minister Brown due to receive a briefing on resolutions of the Board on Tuesday.

Minister Brown is expecting a briefing on the following issues:

Disciplinary processes;

Investigations into questionable contracts;

Stability in the company and particular the Executive team;

Why it took the legal department five days to present the report to the Board after the report was given to the Minister without it receiving Board approval.

What happened between the first and second media statements Eskom issued about Trillian in June 2017?

Tuesday’s briefing, said the Ministry, must specifically include an update on investigative and disciplinary processes with respect to former Acting Group Chief Executive Matshela Koko and Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh.

It must also provide the Minister with definitive answers to the questions on Trillian.

The Minister further expects the Board to present her with a roadmap with specific timelines to bring finality to all issues.

Minister Brown has told Eskom bosses that the ongoing leaking of confidential information is not helping the utility’s public image, and that it is inappropriate for the shareholder representative to be informed of Eskom’s internal affairs through the media.

The Minister said that the report the Chairperson presents to her on Tuesday would help her to determine the scope and nature of the decisive action required to restore Eskom’s credibility, said the Ministry.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Kenya’s Opposition Urges Reform of Electoral Commission

NAIROBI, KENYA � Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga Sunday said the coalition he leads will hold nationwide campaigns to urge reforms of the electoral commission before the fresh presidential elections next month.

Odinga has maintained that the electoral commission must be reformed or he will not participate in the new election ordered by the Supreme Court when it nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in August. One of the reforms he wants is the removal of a dozen top officials he accuses of electoral fraud. The electoral commission has set Oct 17 for the repeat election.

Those who perpetrated illegalities and irregularities in the nullified election remain in place, “claiming readiness to conduct another election,” Odinga told thousands of supporters at a rally.

“We are ready to go for elections, even tomorrow, but we will not go to elections with a compromised electoral commission,” Odinga said. Odinga accused the electoral commission of working with Kenyatta’s Jubilee party to rig the elections.

“IEBC (the electoral commission) and Jubilee are partners in crime,” said Odinga. “The two need each other. If Jubilee is in power, it will protect the co-conspirators and fraudsters in IEBC. Those IEBC officials have every reason to protect Jubilee as their only source of protection.”

Kenyatta has said the electoral commission should not be changed and he even warned the judiciary from interfering.

Other changes that Odinga wants include disqualifying a French firm, OT-Morpho, from supplying equipment to transmit results, claiming that only two of more than 40,000 kits were used to transmit the nullified election results and that staff from the company may be complicit in electoral fraud.

Odinga also said the Al Ghurair printing firm should be blacklisted from supplying ballot papers because the Supreme Court found that some of the forms it printed that were used to transmit presidential results lacked security features such as serial numbers and water marks which were meant to prevent rigging.

Odinga has complained about the electoral commission for some time. In May 2016 he led protests calling for the removal of top officials of the electoral commission who oversaw the 2013 elections, which Odinga lost to Kenyatta and the Supreme Court upheld the results. At least five people were killed in those protests after police responded with live ammunition. Those electoral commissioners were eventually removed by parliament and replaced with the current officials.

Source: Voice of America