State kicks off process to fill corner offices in top agencies

Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 08:20 | By
State kicks off process to fill corner offices in top agencies
Collage of Kenya Pipeline Company acting Managing Director Joe Sang, Geoffrey Muli, Kenya Power, acting managing director, and Anthony Omerikwa, former chief executive at NSSF.

Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has advertised for the position of managing director, thus joining Kenya Power and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in the search for new faces in the crucial corner offices.

The announcement comes just days after the court stopped the reappointment of former Managing director Joe Sang. “The company is seeking to recruit highly motivated, visionary, dynamic and results-oriented candidates to fill the position of managing director,” KPC said in an advertisement.

Following a complaint made by the Law Society of Kenya, the High Court last week temporarily halted Joe Sang’s appointment as the interim KPC managing director.

After being exonerated by a Nairobi court of corruption charges related to the construction of the Sh1.9 billion Kisumu Oil jetty, Sang returned to KPC as the acting MD two weeks ago. At the same time, NSSF will start the recruitment process of a new managing trustee in the next seven days as it moves to fill the corner office of the cash-rich State corporation.

Calls for applications

In a week, calls for applications for the position will be released, the fund’s board chairman Anthony Munyiri told the media, encouraging qualified applicants from both inside and outside NSSF to submit.

Anthony Omerikwa quit the office last year after finishing a single three-year term, leaving the position empty. The NSSF board then appointed an insider, David Mwangangi, to lead the group in an acting capacity beginning in November 2022. Meanwhile, at Kenya Power, the process of replacing acting managing director Geoffrey Waswa Muli, has also started. Muli has held the position in an acting capacity since May last year, having replaced Rosemary Oduor who had been working in the same capacity since August 2021.

For the last five years, Kenya Power has had four CEOs, with two of them holding the position temporarily. Most of the appointments ended prematurely. Former CEO Ngugi joined in October 2019, having taken over from interim boss Jared Othieno who had been appointed temporarily in July 2018.

After the resignation of Ngugi, Kenya Power settled on insider Rosemary Oduor as an acting MD in August 2021 for a short-lived run that ended in May 2022.

Managerial positions

The new CEO will come at a crucial period when the utility is expected to implement new hikes in power tariffs, something that is likely to bring backlash from households and businesses pressed with inflation.

At KPC, the judge ruled that the company is free to choose an acting MD from the pool of present employees holding substantial managerial positions.

Having resigned as the MD in 2018, LSK claims in the petition that Sang holds no position at KPC.

According to the LSK in the petition, “he has not been a part of the corporation for the past five years and cannot be hired in an acting capacity.” The appointment of Sang, according to the lawyers’ umbrella group, violates both the constitution and rules established to ensure that public employees are hired on the basis of merit and fair competition.

The LSK goes on to state that no advertisements have been made for the MD job thus far.

Eric Theuri, president of LSK, stated that the fact that the company is a State corporation “squarely falls within the purview of a public entity and is subject to Constitutional dictates and principles as set forth by both the Constitution and the Public Service Commission.”

He claimed that if not reversed, the public will suffer irrevocably because Sang had already taken over as manager of KPC, an organisation tasked with building and maintaining a refined oil pipeline system and delivering petroleum products from Mombasa to the hinterland.

The new CEO will be also expected to intensify major reforms aimed at streamlining the entire energy sector, especially on the renegotiation of the power contracts.

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