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Court hands CA boss extended stay amid succession row

BUSINESS
By Frankline Sunday | August 15th 2019
Communication Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi when he appeared before the Senate ICT Committee on the protection of customer data by telecommunication companies at County Hall,Nairobi on Wednesday 10/07/19 [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

The leadership wrangles at the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) took a new twist yesterday after the court allowed outgoing Director-General Francis Wangusi to stay past his term that lapses next week.

The new development poses another legal challenge for the board of directors, which was inaugurated last month, besides raising concern over the possible stalling of operations at the country’s key regulator.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) yesterday filed an application at the Labour Relations Court challenging the replacement of Wangusi (pictured) on the basis that the board is not properly constituted.

The court set the hearing date of the case for August 27 and directed Mr Wangusi to stay on in the meantime. In May, activist Okiya Omtata filed a case challenging ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru’s move to appoint the new board of directors, arguing that the process was flawed.

In his submissions, Mr Omtata argued that the appointment process of the authority’s directors and director-general had been undermined by amendments to the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA) passed earlier this year.

The Miscellaneous Amendments Bill, 2018 expunged clauses to the KICA Act, 2013 that mandated the authority to replace the board chairman and director general through a selection panel. The selection panel was constituted by several representatives, including the Media Council of Kenya, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Law Society of Kenya, Institute of Engineers of Kenya and Consumer Federation of Kenya and instead conferred the appointing authority to the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the ministry.

The legal disputes have brought to the fore the fight for control of the regulator that leads in annual revenues.

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