Engineers lose bid to exclusively head three key road agencies

A section of Waiyaki way around Museum hill [Courtesy]

Engineers have lost a bid to bar other professions from heading three road agencies after a parliamentary committee approved amendments to the Roads Act to allow for a director general from other fields. 

The Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing in an addendum report tabled in the National Assembly on November 24 last year recommended the removal of the clause that allows only engineers to head the Kenya National Highways Authority, Kenya Urban Roads Authority and Kenya Rural Roads Authority. 

“The current provision contained in the Act is discriminatory as it reserves the post of director general to only one qualification and profession,” said the committee chaired by Pokot South MP David Pkosing.

It said the clause will have to be amended for qualified candidates from other professions to be considered. 

The committee also noted that the current qualifications for appointment as a director general, which limit appointment to those in the engineering profession, contradict the general managerial functions of the roles outlined in section 13(4) of the Act.

The role of the director general, according to the Act, is mostly managerial including ensuring proper management of funds, implementing a strategic plan, organising and control of staff.

Besides those who hold a postgraduate engineering degree, others who will be considered for the post include those who hold postgraduate degree in architecture, finance, accounts, management, law or a related field from a recognised university in Kenya.

They also must have 10 years’ experience in a senior managerial position within the roads sector, are registered by a relevant regulatory body, members in good standing of a relevant professional body and meet the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

The Kenya Roads (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was recalled from the floor of the National Assembly for further deliberations by stakeholders who included lawyers, accountants, engineers and architects.

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