Powerful vested interests within the United Nations are suspected to be behind the removal of Mrs Anna Tibaijuka from the helm of the United Nations establishment in Nairobi. When it became evident that she was to be appointed to the post, they initiated an investigation against her, claiming that she had misused a her official vehicle, and reported the matter to the former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, said a UN official who declined to be named, citing the risk to his job. But Mr Annan ignored the claims as he appointed Mrs Tibaijuka to head UNON until 2010. A clique of officials who worked under Mrs Tibaijuka at the UNON appear finally to have managed to convince current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that she was to blame for the serious issues documented in an audit report published last year. Last week, the media carried reports that Mr Ki-moon had appointed the current Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, to replace Mrs Tibaijuka at UNON. The Tanzanian national was appointed by Mr Annan to replace a former head of Unep , Dr Klaus Toepfer, whose term of office ended on March 31, 2006. Like her replacement, Dr Toepfer is also a German national who had headed the countrys environment ministry before starting his term at Unep. But according to a long trail of confidential documents made available to The Eastfrican, it would seem Mrs Tibaijuka was penalised over things that happened before she took office at UNON. There is also evidence that her days were numbered the moment she started questioning serious fraud affecting, among other things, the procurement for the construction of a $25 million project to upgrade the UN headquarters at Gigiri in Nairobi. Commencing in 2001, UN headquarters in New York had been providing a stream of funds for the job. However, there appear to have been delays that Mrs Tibaijuka, as the head of UNON, was asked to explain. But she did not have an answer because all along, she had been kept in the dark, said a highly placed source at UNON who did not want to be named. Related Stories UN littered with failed projects, but few heads roll The EastAfrican has also seen documents showing that the director in-charge of UNONs procurement, Alexander Barabanov, had been reporting directly to an Under-Secretary General at UN Head Office in New York, Angela Kane, a German national. The same official had formally authorised Mr Barabanov to oversee all financial and procurement services at UNON as per a letter dated May 19, 2005. So, by the time Mrs Tibaijuka assumed headship of UNON, Mr Barabanov had been in charge of procurement for a year. It appears that immediately Mrs Tibaijuka assumed office, she ordered the audit, which was to cover the period between 2004 and 2006, when UNON was headed by Mr Toepfer. When the report was released on February 28, 2008, it detailed serious fraud. Conducted by the Office of Internal Oversight Services Internal Audit Division, the audit report said UNON could have lost as much as Ksh10 billion ( $130 million) in procurement and administrative irregularities over the period. The scandal was blamed on employees who were alleged to have had links with companies given contracts by both Unep and UN-Habitat who grossly inflated costs of goods and services procured by the UN body. The audit report came shortly after the UN headquarters in New York had been told how poor management and inadequate accountability had hampered construction work meant to upgrade the Nairobi Office to the same status as the Geneva and Vienna offices. The EastAfrican has also seen documents showing that after she received the audit report, Mrs Tibaijuka acted by separating UNONs procurement arm from its support services. This is contained in an information circular she released on August 4, 2008. However, the head of pocurement, Vibekke Gravind, reacted by writing to Mr Ki-moon on September, 26, 2008, challenging Mrs Tibaijukas decision. Interestingly, the UN boss did not write formally to Mrs Tibaijuka revoking her 2006 appointment by Annan. She is said to have learnt about the decision from her successor via e-mail. She thereupon wrote to the Secretary General on February 28 seeking to know her official status. Upon receiving Tibaijukas letter, Mr Ki-moon wrote back the same day confirming that he had indeed replaced her. I hereby confirm my decision communicated to you (by Steiner)... Even so, this letter did not outright say whether he had revoked her appointment. Since the matter came into the limelight, observers have been questioning not just the behaviour of the secretary general, but also the roles that Germany, Russia and, apparently, Kenya have played in the matter. Germany, through its national, Mr Steiner, has been the main beneficiary. On its part, Kenya particularly one of the partners in the Grand Coalition government is said to have been silently uncomfortable with Mrs Tibaijukas role in inviting Kofi Annan to mediate the National Accord. It appears that Kenya had officially complained against Mr Barabanov over remarks the latter had made against the country. According to a letter written by Kenyas Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Thuita Mwangi, to Mrs Tibaijuka on March 20, 2007, Kenya was angered by Mr Barabanov for questioning the countrys ability to handle arrangements for one of the organisations regular meetings. It appears that Mrs Tibaijuka took this as a serious breach of UN diplomacy for she escalated the matter by reporting the latter to the UN Secretary General. Moreover, an internal UN investigation says that Mr Barabanov acknowledged that he improperly had the UN Chief of Security issue him a UNON firearm and a temporary firearm permit; the Office of Internal Oversight Services had recommended action against him. Source: The EastAfrican. Huyu Mkorea anairun vipi UN? Mbona kuna uswahili mwingi tu, kama kampuni za kihindi kule Kariakoo?