Uhuru appoints Mohamed Dida Among poll losers to head State corporations
Nairobi, Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta has once again disregarded a public outcry and appointed leaders who lost in the last elections to chair the boards of 10 State corporations, setting the stage for a potentially explosive backlash from Jubilee supporters.
Uhuru and his Deputy William Ruto’s top allies have been rewarded in the appointments that also saw his competitor in the 2013 presidential election Mohamed Abduba Dida being rewarded.
In what is likely to cause a new storm within the Jubilee ranks, the President has picked politicians who lost in the last General Election for the lucrative positions even as he appointed one of his lawyers to head a parastatal. Six of the ten appointees are allies of the President and his deputy who contested and lost in the March 4, 2013 poll.
A special gazette notice dated December 31, 2013 indicates that Dida has been appointed chairman of the Constituency Development Board (CDF) to replace Jennifer Nafula Barasa. He will serve for a period of eight months. Former Information and Communications Minister Samuel Poghisio, who lost the West Pokot senatorial contest on a URP ticket, has made a comeback to public office and will chair the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) board.
Danson Mungatana (TNA), who also lost in Tana River has been appointed chairman of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) board with effect from January 10 and will chair the board until October 30 this year. Njeru Ndwiga, who vied for the Embu Senate seat on a TNA ticket and had served the first term of the Kibaki administration as minister for Cooperatives, is the new chairman of Tanathi Water Service Board. He lost the Senate seat to Lenny Kivuti of the Alliance Party of Kenya (APK).
Former Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi makes a comeback to the public service after he was appointed chairman of Kenya Post Office Savings Bank Board, commonly known as Post Bank, for a period of three years, with effect from January 10. Kapondi, who was defending his seat on a URP ticket, lost in the last General Election to independent candidate John Serut.
The Deputy President’s previous ally, politician Patrick Osero has landed the post of chairman of the Agriculture Finance Corporation for two years. Osero contested the Borabu constituency seat on an ODM ticket last year, emerging second after losing to Wiper’s Ben Momanyi. Although Osero joined ODM in the run-up to the last General Election, he has been a close associate of Ruto since their time in the Youth for Kanu 92 lobby group and is best remembered for standing surety of Sh6 million to bail out the Deputy President during the earlier years of Narc regime when he was charged with fraud in a land case.
The President has also rewarded one of his defence team members at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Gershom Otachi. Otachi is now the new chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Policyholders’ Compensation Fund.
Ruto’s other allies from the Rift Valley region, Sammy Chepkwony (Kericho) and Prof Alex Chemtai (Uasin Gishu), have been picked to chair the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists boards respectively. Chepkwony will serve for two years while Chemtai has been appointed for a three-year term.
Sammy Latema has been picked as the Chairperson of the National Irrigation Board for a period of three years to replace of Daniel Munyao Mule. The appointments come only a week after the President made 26 appointments that have caused uproar across the country.
The rewarding of political losers and retirees has provoked reactions with Uhuru’s Jubilee allies breaking ranks and threatening to review their support for the ruling coalition. In Meru, top politicians continue to castigate the president’s appointment of former head of civil service Francis Muthaura to serve as chairman of the multi-billion shilling Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) project on grounds of age.
The Meru leaders are also unhappy that Uhuru picked Titus Ibui, currently chairman of Kiraitu Murungi’s Alliance Party of Kenya, as chairman of the Kenya Leather Development Authority. Opposition MPs, especially from the Coast region, have criticised the appointments even as Jubilee partners Amani Coalition threatened to end their support for the ruling party over allegations of skewed appointments. However, Ruto has dismissed their critics and said the Government would appoint both youthful and older, experienced leaders to incorporate all groups in serving the public.
Those who joined Muthaura include former Marakwet East MP Linah Kilimo who will head the Anti-Female Genital Mutilation Board, former Kibwezi MP Agnes Ndetei, who will chair the National Drought Management Authority and Philip Kaloki, a former MP from the same constituency who unsuccessfully vied for governorship of Makueni County in the March elections. Kaloki will head the Kenya Medical Training College Board.
Matu Wamae was reappointed as chair of the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries for a further period of three years, while Col Geoffrey Kingangi will head the National Cereals and Produce Board. Terry Ryan takes over as chair of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, while Taraiya ole Kores will chair the Kenya Meat Commission Board.
The new chair of the Board of Directors of the Consolidated Bank is Benson Ateng, while Mohamud Mohamed Ali will now chair the Board of the National Hospital Insurance Fund. Sam Kona will head the Kerio Valley Development Authority, while former Makueni MP Peter Kiilu will chair the Water Resource Management Authority.
Onyango Oloo and Julius Kones will head the boards of the Lake Basin Development Authority and the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation respectively. Abdul Bahari takes over as chair of the Tana and Athi River Development Authority, while Joseph Musebe will be board chairman of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. Kitambi Digore will head the Kenya Maritime Authority while Sammy Tangus takes over as chair of the Postal Corporation of Kenya. Edwin Yinda is the new chairman of the Kenya Information and Communication Board of directors. Samwel Nyangeso will chair the Kenya National Library Services Board, while Sam Njonde and Peter Kinya will head the National Sports Fund Board of Trustees, and the Kenya National Trading Corporation boards respectively.