Kenya: Search for New KPA Boss to Start Afresh for Third Time

The search for Kenya Ports Authority's new managing director is back to the drawing board for the third time after Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani rejected three nominated candidates for the position citing low scores.

In a circular dated March 2, 2021, addressed to the board chairman Joseph Kibwana, the Treasury directed KPA to begin afresh the recruitment process within 45 days.

"I have reviewed the list of names, scores and ranking of the candidates proposed for appointment as managing director KPA and noted that all the candidates scored below the desired threshold of 70 per cent in the interview," said Mr Yatani.

Last week, the KPA board interviewed six candidates and nominated three of them for appointment by Mr Yatani after President Kenyatta transferred the port authority functions from the ministry of Transport to the Treasury.

Among the candidates was former Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (Lapsset) Chief Executive Officer Sylvester Kasuku, who headed Lapsset from its inception in March 2013 until January 5 when his term expired.

Planning and Devolution Principal Secretary Mabruk Mwanamaka and James Ng'ang'a, a former KPA insider who is currently the infrastructure director Northern Corridor at TradeMark East Africa were also in the race for KPA's top job.

Others are Saudi Mwasinago, who is in charge of Shimo Port in Kwale, Martin Motoko who served as KPA corporate manager before moving to Kenya Power and Amani Komora, former KPA head of human resource.

KPA advertised for the position of managing director on April 7, 2020, to replace Dr Daniel Manduku, who resigned in March after battling graft allegations for months.

The recruitment was, however, cancelled prematurely early in August with Treasury directing a fresh search after KPA board was reported to have been divided due to politics and favouritism of some applicants.

The process was also marred by court petitions majority of which were dismissed for lack of merit.

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