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Leaders react to President Uhuru Kenyatta's parastatal board appointments

By Rawlings Otieno, Wilfred Ayaga and Cyrus Ombati | October 5th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Leaders have reacted to the parastatal board appointments made by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday.

While some termed the President's move as progressive in uniting the country through balanced public appointments, others are crying foul.

Bare Shill (Fafi), Ayub Savula (Lugari) and Simba Arati (Dagoretti North) said the State appointments were a raw deal.

But MPs Muthomi Njuki (Chuka Igambang'ombe) and Florence Kajuju (Meru Women Representative) commended the President for balancing regional and gender interests.

Mr Shill, who is also the United Republican Party (URP) chairman, said that despite the residents of Fafi having voted for the Jubilee government, they were yet to get rewarded for their loyalty.

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Mr Savula said the Luhya have supported the Government even on the floor of the House yet the community got few positions in the appointments.

Muthomi Njuki (Chuka Igambang'ombe), however, came to the defence of the President saying that there has been an improvement in the appointment criteria compared to last time.

Ms Njuki said that going forward, appointments should be based on professionalism, for example, appointing media practitioners to the board of Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC).

Media personalities Caroline Mutoko of Radio Africa and Royal Media Services' Farida Karonei are among those appointed to the KIMC board, with Julie Gichuru named in the Brand Kenya team, while James Kinyua was appointed to the Kenya Film Commission's board.

The Meru Women Representative commended the President for balancing regional and gender interests.

Top executives

Politicians and top executives prominently feature on a list of 350 individuals appointed as board members in various State corporations.

The appointments were for board members, but officials said chairpeople of the boards would be named soon.

Most of those appointed were, according to insiders, seconded by a majority of Members of Parliament. They had complained President Kenyatta had left them out in the previous appointments and instead rewarded their enemies.

On the list of appointments made on Friday in a special Gazette notice, are some new names, replacing many of those appointed by the Kibaki-Odinga Grand Coalition government.

Among the politicians who have been rewarded are former MPs Wycliffe Osundwa (Kenya Institute of Mass Communication), Bifwoli Wakoli (Kenya Water Towers Agency), Simon Mbugua (NGO Co-ordination Board), Dickson Wathika (Athi Water Services Board) and the widow of former Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode - Mary Okeyo (Lake Basin Development Authority Board) and John Mutinda Mutiso (Kenya Railways Corporation).

The new names in the Vision 2030 Delivery Board include Kenya Commercial Bank Chief Executive Joshua Oigara, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and Juliana Rotich, known for her role in the Ushahidi open-source software development programme.

The changes were made by the line ministries but insiders say the President was briefed on the same.

president uhuru kenyatta government parastatals public appointments
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