CHANGE OF GUARD

Court stops recruitment of new Communication Authority boss

Wangusi described new appointee as incompetent and a greenhorn in the sector, adding that the board refused her appointment

In Summary

• Last week, Wangusi vowed not to hand over to the new CEO Mercy Wanjau, who was appointed on Thursday in an acting capacity.

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Francis Wangusi when he appeared before Public Investment committee on August 6, 2019.
Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Francis Wangusi when he appeared before Public Investment committee on August 6, 2019.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

The newly appointed acting director-general of the Communications Authority of Kenya Mercy Wanjau will not assume office until a board is in place.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court on Tuesday gave orders stopping the recruitment exercise until the case is heard and determined.

But lawyer Githu Muigai acting for CA told Judge Byrum Ongaya that Wangusi cannot be available for reappointment in acting capacity as his contract lapsed on Thursday last week.

 

“The law is very clear. We cannot have him sitting in that position while he is enjoying his pension,” he said.

But Cofek who instituted the case said until the board is appointed there will be no DG.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya in its court documents argued that there was no proper board and the planned recruitment to replace Wangusi is unlawful.

Cofek's lawyer Henry Kurauka said although Wangusi may not necessarily want to extend his contract, wisdom dictates that he ought to be called upon to sit in until a legitimate board is appointed and completes the recruitment process of his successor.

In a separate suit filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, Justice Maureen Onyango in a ruling dated August 16 said the appointment of Mahmoud Noor, Paul Mureithi, Jackson Kemboi and Laura Chite to the board was not transparent.

As a result, she prohibited CA from implementing a gazette notice dated July 18 appointing the four to the board.

She said granting the orders will enhance the constitutional values and objects of the freedom of the media through checks and balances, public participation, transparency and inclusiveness.

 

She said the CS Information, Communication and Technology Joe Mucheru unilaterally appointed the four yet there was no evidence that advertisement or interviews were done.

“There is further no evidence of the appointees' qualifications. The criteria used to select them is also unknown or undisclosed,” she said.

Matter will be mentioned on September 10 for further directions.


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