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The man who brought sanity to the KWS jungle

Julius Kipng’etich is synonymous with Kenya Wildlife Service where he breathed life to a once dying parastatal.

The present Equity Bank’s chief operating officer took over KWS in 2005 when it was a Sh800 million graft-ridden entity and spawned it into a Sh4.6 billion corporation complete with devolved management and a strategic plan within a decade.

Dr Kipng’etich left KWS in 2011 to what was termed as ‘pursuing personal interest’. Before joining KWS as its directors, he was the managing director of Investment Promotion Council.

A Starehe Boys’ alumnus, Dr Kipn’getich has over 17 years experience in business process re-engineering and change management.

KWS was a jungle; the first day he entered the office he asked for two manuals which any CEO would ask for to have a feel of how an organisation works – for finance and human resource.

They were non-existent. There was also no organisational structure, or the salary structure. Two government reports indicted previous leadership mismanagement to the rot in KWS.

The Auditor General’s Report of ’94 severely indicted Richard Leakey for running the organisation as a personal business and the one for Evans Mukolwe (his successor) was purely outright mismanagement. Before his suspension he had recruited 950 out of the authorised 400.

Issue

The first thing he did was to create a blue-print which involved slashing 23 directorates to 14. Then there was an issue of a car which Mukolwe had ordered, a tailor- made BMW X5.

Treasury had approved the  purchase of a Sh8 million car  in 2004 to KWS which was struggling to pay salaries.KWS had already paid 10 per cent (Sh800,000) to the BMW and the voucher was on Julius desk.

He rejected the car and refused to sign off the LPO. He also implemented a smart card system which improved revenues in parks and game reserves In 2005, the board approved his five-year strategic plan for KWS.

During his KWS tenure he was acclaimed winner of the Chief Executive Officer of the Year Award, COYA 2009.

He has also been given two national awards, CBS and EBS.