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Treasury wants Muthaura confirmed as head of CMA

BUSINESS
By - | February 5th 2013

By James Anyanzwa

The battle for influence and power at the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has taken a new twist after the Treasury instructed the Authority’s board to interview acting Chief Executive Paul Muthaura for the plum job.

Finance minister Njeru Githae said Mr Muthaura, who had not applied for the job before, would now be evaluated against the other three nominees.

The latest is part of options available to the Treasury, and which it believes would produce a substantive CEO for the market regulator. Other alternatives include giving CMA board six more months to conduct a fresh recruitment process, picking one candidate from the previous list of three nominees, or carrying out a review of the candidates.

Githae, however, pointed out that though the revised law gives him powers to appoint the CEO, he has not deemed it fit to do it without consultation with the CMA board. The minister said the new CMA boss would be unveiled before the end of this week.

“The law was changed. The president now appoints the chairpersons of parastatals and the minister appoints the CEO. Now the CMA board is also interviewing the current acting CEO, and find out where he ranks against the other three nominees,” Githae told reporters at his the Treasury offices in Nairobi on Monday.

Way Out

“That is the decision I’m supposed to make this week. I’m sure by the end of the week we shall have a way out.”

Treasury is expected to decide who is eventually selected to office after the change in legislation that transferred the authority to appoint the CEO from the President to the finance minister. The changes were effected in the Finance Bill 2012, which was approved in the final days of the tenth Parliament.

Muthaura, formerly head of regulatory and strategy at the CMA, was picked as acting CEO with effect from July 1 to fill the vacancy left with the exit of Ms Stella Kilonzo, pending recruitment of a substantive CEO. Ms Kilonzo opted not to have her contract renewed, ending her four-year reign in office.

Treasury had initially rejected three candidates — namely investment banker Wanjiku Mugane, CMA’s corporation secretary Rose Lumumba and Paul Mwai of the Afrika Investment Bank — who had been presented to it for appointment, claiming that none had met the minimum requirements for the office.

Further Interviews

In July last year, following the exit of Kilonzo, and the board hired the headhunters, Manpower Consultants, to conduct interviews and help in recruiting a new CEO. At the end of the exercise, and after further interviews by the human resources committee of the CMA board, a short list of the three professionals who scored the highest marks was made.

But acting CEO Paul Muthaura did not apply for the job.

Treasury had earlier indicated that the process of recruiting a new CMA chief could kick off once the Authority is upgraded to a new status capable of attracting high caliber of staff. Githae noted that once the application for upgrading from Parastatal Advisory Board is approved and the new status granted, the market regulator would get a new CEO.

Githae said the enhanced status would allow CMA to attract talents that would move the authority to the next level. Making CMA a category ‘A’ parastatal means the Treasury will finance it better, enabling it to pay workers competitive salaries that can attract quality private sector operatives.

 


 

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