President William Ruto has made board changes in some 58 parastatals, replacing more than 100 appointees of his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, as he continues to assert his influence on state owned firms and agencies.
President Ruto and his Cabinet have appointed more than 120 chairs and directors in 58 state corporations with the Head of State directly appointing 53 directors, according to a review of Kenya Gazette notices since the appointments started in November.
The new administration has kicked out directors appointed in the last days of the former president Uhuru’s tenure and replaced the boards with political rejects of the August elections who backed Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
The next phase of hiring will also aim at replacing chief executives of top State-owned firms despite a majority of their contracts running until 2024.
The terms of chief executives of the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), the Geothermal Development Corporation, the National Social Security Fund, the Kenya Railways Corporation, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Kenya Pipeline Corporation and KenGen have either expired or due to expire this year.
Top appointments at Kenya Power, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), KenGen and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company will be at the disposal of the new Cabinet Secretaries to dish out to their cronies.
Many State-owned firms do not have substantive CEOs and the positions will definitely attract serious jostling by political and business operatives for their preferred candidates.
Among the Kenya Kwanza loyalists awarded parastatal jobs are former county governors Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), Cleophas Lagat (Nandi), and John Mruttu (Taita-Taveta).
Ranguma was Friday appointed the chairman of Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority while Langat will head the board of Rivatex East Africa.
Former MPs appointed to chair parastatals include Daniel Rono (Kenya Medical Supplies Authority), Charles Muriuki Njagagua (Consolidated Bank), Regina Ndambuki (Tanathi Water Works Development Agency), Yusuf Chanzu (National Housing Corporation), Moses Mabonga (Insurance Regulatory Authority) and Sakwa Bunyasi (Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board).
Prior to Friday’s appointments, a number of State corporation chairpersons allied to Mr Kenyatta had been replaced.
They include Francis Muthaura (Kenya Revenue Authority), Lewis Nguyai (National Health Insurance Fund), Rita Okuthe (Kenya Pipeline Company), Vienne Yeda (Kenya Power), and Gilbert Kibe (Communications Authority of Kenya).
John Ngumi had also fired as chairman of Safaricom, the country’s leading telecoms company where the government has good shares.
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