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Engineers to head road authorities, says institute

By James Wanzala | September 2nd 2021

IEK President Nathaniel Matalanga. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) is opposed to a Bill that seeks to appoint any professional to head road authorities.

Kenya has three road authorities - Kenya Urban Roads Authority, Kenya National Highways Authority and Kenya Rural Roads Authority all headed by Director Generals (DG).

Speaking recently after opening the Capital Branch office in Nairobi, IEK President Nathaniel Matalanga said the move to amend the Kenya Roads Act through Kenya Roads (Amendment) Bill 2021 by Pokot South MP David Pkosing should be opposed.

Pkosing chairs the House Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.

According to the committee report on the Bill, the qualifications for appointment as a DG, which limit appointment to those in the engineering profession, are discriminatory to other professions and not aligned with the general managerial functions of the Act.

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Okiya Omtatah, Institute of Human Resource Management, and Kenya Institute of Supplies Management proposed the opening up of the qualifications for DG to persons from professions.

They said current provisions discriminate against other professions which are able to provide competent candidates to be considered for appointment on merit.

"There is a plan to change the law so that the director can be anyone but I urge you to stand up and say no so that only engineers are elected to be the DG position,” said Matalanga, who asked the government to recall the Bill. “This is because it will erode the achievements the institution or sector has gained since the 1990s.”

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