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Court stops the hiring of communications agency boss

By Kamau Muthoni | June 25th 2020

A labour court has blocked the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) from recruiting a new director-general to replace Fred Wangusi.

This is after the Information Communication Technology Association of Kenya (ICTAK) challenged the recruitment process, terming it illegal.

Justice Maureen Onyango suspended CA's vacancy notice until the case filed by the lobby is heard and determined.

"Pending the hearing and determination of this matter, the leave so granted to operate as staying the vacancy notice for the position of the director-general/chief executive officer of the Communications Authority," Onyango ruled.

CA advertised the position in the local dailies on June 23 and gave interested parties 14 days to apply.

Yesterday, ICTAK, through its lawyer Adrian Kamotho, argued that the advertisement was discriminatory and tainted with illegality.

"The wanton manipulation of the recruitment process by CA poses a real risk to fair competition and merit as the basis of appointment as envisaged under Article 232 (1) (g) of the Constitution,” the lobby argued.

The impending change of guard at the helm of the telecommunications sector regulator comes at a time when the industry is facing significant headwinds.

Top on the agenda for the incoming director-general will be implementing the anticipated dominance report, as well as developing new regulations for global technology companies, including Facebook, Google and WhatsApp.

Wangusi left the authority but not without a fight. Early last year, he faced off with the board after he was sent on temporary leave for allegedly authorising irregular allowances.

The Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) challenged Wangusi's ouster in court, saying it was illegal for CA Chairman Ngene Gituku to lock him out of office.

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