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Committee: We’re not updated on parastatal appointments

By Faith Ronoh | February 7th 2015

Amid concerns about a large number of State corporations operating without functional boards, it has emerged that key institutions in parastatal reform process, are kept in the dark over crucial developments within the sector.

In a rare admission, the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC), the driver of parastatal reforms, said the committee is not constantly informed when appointments are made in order to update the status of parastatals in Kenya.

Committee Secretary Jane Mugambi, said it has been extremely difficult for them to get up-to-date data on respective chairpersons, chief executive officers and directors serving in various entities.
Last week, The Standard on Saturday published a report from the Government dated as recently as late January detailing a leadership vacuum in most parastatals but it emerged that even this document was not up-to-date.

“Chairpersons are usually appointed by the President and once in a while by the Cabinet Secretary (CS) in line ministries. Directors are exclusively appointed by the CS. It will be difficult for me to tell you who is where because some of these appointments are made and no one gives us a copy of appointment details,” Ms Mugambi explained.

Most of the parastatals, she said, have chairpersons but continue to operate without boards while some have boards but function without crucial board members.
“If I want to know who holds what position I, sometimes, have to call respective Cabinet Secretaries,” she said.

But the fact that such an oversight entity finds difficulty getting updated information on major appointments raises questions on the processes of communication.

Mugambi alluded to the fact that most of these appointments are marred by either political or personal interests with the reforms that are meant to overhaul the sector facing major hurdles.

The Government, however, continues to make appointments to entities that have no boards pending implementation of the reforms.

Just yesterday, Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi, appointed Charity Seleina Kisotu as the new chair of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) board of trustees. The appointment of Kisotu, who was seconded by Cotu to the workers’ pension body, takes effect from February 2.

Ms Kisotu replaces Cornel Nyang’un who was dropped after he fell out with his former employer, Cotu, in 2013. Other appointments that have been made in the recent past include Agnes Ndetei who was appointed as National Drought Management Authority chair in December 2013.

University of Kabianga first vice-chancellor Prof Wilson Kipng’eno, was appointed in March 2013 for a term of five years, while his counterpart from Egerton University Prof James Tuitoek’s term comes to an end in 2016. Egerton’s chairman Dr Albou Alubayo’s was similarly appointed in 2012 for a four-year term.

President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Ben Ngene Gituku as chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya’s board in June last year, ending the long wait for a functional board in the telecommunications regulator. Rural Electrification Authority does not have a chairperson but Ng’ang’a Munyu was appointed to the position of acting CEO in 2013.

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