KENYA: Nairobi Hospital sacks CEO Allan Pamba after 6 months

October 2020 Dailynation : Dr Allan Pamba was Friday sacked as the CEO of The Nairobi Hospital just six months after his appointment, signalling that the stormy times in the giant private hospital’s management are far from over.

A letter from the hospital’s board chairman, Maj (Rtd) Dr Irungu Ndirangu, said Dr Pamba was still on probation and that he failed to craft a performance enhancement plan.

Dr Pamba started serving as CEO on March 4 but had not yet been confirmed.

“Please note that the letter dated September 10, extending your probation period to December 12 gave you up to September 30 to acknowledge and execute the Performance Improvement Plan,” read Dr Irungu’s letter to Dr Pamba.

“Unfortunately, you responded on September 2 and requested that the board of directors review your performance in line with the board charter, contrary to your letter of appointment, which clearly states that the chairman of the board will review your performance.

“Your failure to execute the Performance Enhancement Plan and the probation extension letter implied your lack of interest to continue working for The Nairobi Hospital.

The chairman noted that the board met on Friday and resolved not to confirm Dr Pamba.

“You will be required to hand over all the hospital’s properties in your custody and clear with the human resources department as per set clearance procedures. Your last day of working will be October 3,” he wrote.

Past CEOs

The sudden cancellation of Dr Pamba’s probation period is another chapter in the eventful recent story of the hospital, which has been characterised by mass sackings, suspensions, petitions and all.

The hospital’s last substantive CEO was Mr Gordon Oundo but he faced a dramatic exit journey from December 14, 2014, when there was a fracas in his office as he locked himself in while a lawyer waited outside to deliver a suspension letter.

Mr Odundo was later sent on a 90-day leave and in April 2019, he was sent packing.

After Mr Odundo came Dr Christopher Abeid, who held the position in acting capacity until Dr Pamba took over in March.

Dr Pamba, who had been the Global Health vice president for pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline based in London, returned to Nairobi to take over the reins with enthusiasm, effecting a number of changes shortly after he took over.

In an interview with the Business Daily that was published on Friday, he offered a peek into how it felt to hold the position.

“As they say, it gets lonely at the top. I have felt it. I have had my moments of fear even though I never show it. It is normal. The question is what you do with that fear,” he said.

He went on: “You know, when you’re outside Nairobi Hospital, you think  [it] is amazing. The buildings look good… and the truth is it is amazing but no one ever tells you the depth of issues that an institution is grappling with.”

Insiders told the Nation on Saturday that Dr Pamba had a sour relationship with the board chairman, a dimension the dismissal letter hinted at.

The hospital’s board has also been fraught with disputes, a new one having formed in November 2019 after a period of agitation by stakeholders.

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