Tough contest as former managers angle for KPA job

Former and current port managers are among candidates who have applied for the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director.

Dr Daniel Manduku, who has been acting since May after the ouster of his predecessor Catherine Mturi-Wairi, is among the contenders.

Manduku has already earned the backing of the powerful Dock Workers Union (DWU).

Others who had submitted their applications before yesterday’s deadline include James Mulewa, who was sacked in 2010 by then Transport Minister Chirau Mwakwere over alleged abuse of office.

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Mulewa was cleared by the court and KPA ordered to compensate him. Currently, he is the Chairman of Kilifi County Public Service Board.

“Mulewa has submitted his papers, he is ready to serve Kenyans again,” his confidant Anthony Taabu told the Saturday Standard.

Mulewa and other candidates who have cloaked retirement age are exploiting the fact that age limit is not one of the conditions. “It is good that age is not a condition. It is also a contract and anyone can be hired,” said former KPA MD Abdhalla Mwaruwa.

Deloitte Consulting firm is conducting the recruitment.

Call for fairness

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Others who have applied for the top job are immediate former general manager operations Sudi Mwasinago. Mr Mwasinago was early this year replaced with his deputy William Ruto after being deployed to Kisumu.

Also in the race are Joseph Atonga, who recently retired as KPA’s general manager for technical services, and general manager for infrastructure Abdillahi Samatar, who was deployed to Lamu port.

Dr Manduku will be trying his luck for the second time after he failed to clinch the position in July 2016 when Mrs Wairi triumphed.

He was in the race to succeed Gichiri Ndua who had been kicked out as managing director in February of that year.

A dispute over who should recruit the new MD had delayed the exercise. Board chairman General (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana wanted the recruitment done by a private human resource firm while some members, citing the KPA Act, insisted the hiring should be done by the board.

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Port workers have called for a fair recruitment. DWU General Secretary Simon Sang commended the acting CEO, saying he had raised performance and improved the authority’s relations with workers.

“We know the law calls for competitive recruit and we respect that. But if the Government is looking for a person who can deliver, then Dr Manduku fits the bill,” Sang said.

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