President Kenyatta has appointed 142 people to the boards of several government agencies with less than three weeks till the general election that would terminate his tenure.
The appointments are detailed in the Kenya Gazette’s most recent issue, which was released on July 8. Although legal, it raises questions since the nominations were made so close to the end of his term.
They also stand out in that, as opposed to others before, they do not mainly comprise defeated politicians who often fall back to such appointments when they fail to clinch political seats. They include appointments to the councils of various public universities, which have been operating without proper composition of the key decision-making organs.
The appointments mean the new President will have few appointments to dangle to allies who fall by the wayside. Most of the appointments run for three years, meaning the new President will have to work with Mr Kenyatta’s appointees.
Among the notable appointments is that of Prof Karuti Kanyinga, who has been appointed to chair the Universities Funding Board of Trustees for three years. The appointment was gazetted by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha who also appointed former Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) boss Mercy Karogo to chair the Council for the Kenya Education Management Institute. Felix Odimmasi and Joyce Wanjiru Kanja were appointed as members of the council.
Mr Kenyatta has also appointed Prof Julius O Nyabundi to chair Knec for four years. He takes over from Dr John Onsati. The New Kenya Co-operative Creameries Board will have Anthony Lan Njoroge Mutugi as its new chairperson for the next three years.
Other appointments are Joanne M Yelbert (Kenya Tourism Board), Nelson Ndirangu (Competition Authority), Mohammed Amin Sheikh (Insurance Regulatory Authority), Stephen Kuria (Mineral Rights Board), and Eric Mungai (National Environmental Management Authority).
National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani appointed Abdirahin H Abdi as chairperson of the Retirement Benefits Authority. Mr Yatani reappointed Richard Kiplagat as chairperson of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority and Dennis Aroka to be a member of the board of the Kenya Railways Corporation.
Former CMC Holdings CEO Bill Lay has been appointed to chair the Board of Trustees of the Water Sector Trust Fund with Mbatia Kimani, Kevin O Opiyo, Musa Ndeto and Dr Mary Wambui being members.
The University of Nairobi council will be chaired for the next three years by Prof Miriam Were, who will take over from Prof Julia Ojiambo. Another veteran academic, Prof Shem Wandiga, has been appointed chairperson of the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology council for three years.
Other key appointments are Hassan M Reche (New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union) Hellen Nangithia (Nyayo Tea Zones Development Corporation), Njoroge Kagwe (Pest Control Products Board), Feisal Abass (Privatization Commission) and Elijah Njore (Water Services Regulatory Board). Agriculture CS Peter Munya reappointed Beatrice M Kimemia as chairperson of the Co-operative Tribunal three more years. He also appointed Danson Ngaari Mwangi as the chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Commodities Fund and George Murathe as chairperson of the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA).
Prof Magoha has appointed Dr Virginia Wamuyu Kimani to chair the council of Alupe University College while Prof Simon Mitema is the new chair of the council of Bomet University College. Former UoN vice chancellor Isaac Meroka Mbeche is the new chairperson of the council of Taita Taveta University.
Other chairpersons of university councils are Dr Christopher Gatama Gakahu (Machakos University), Dr Risely Kavu Ngala (Koitalel Samoei University College), Dr Timothy Mwangi Kiruhi (Tharaka University College) and Idle Omar Farah (Technical University of Kenya). The appointment of Dr Halima Saado, who has been the chairperson, was revoked in the gazette notice.
The Kenya Technical Trainers Technical College council has new membership with Dennis Awori the chair and Veronica Birgen, Shelmith Mugoh, Gideon Murenga, Zachary Ooko and Phyllis EN Wangwe members.
Dr Paul Kimutai Murgor, Christine Jepchirchir Tomno, Antonio Musyoka David, Veronica Wangari and Dr Obudho Samuel Omondi are the new members of the council of the Eldoret National Polytechnic.
Other appointments are Dr Stellah I. Onyiego and Michael Mutembei Kibutha as members of the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication board.
John King’ori Wahome has been appointed to the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation while Stephen K. Cheboi and Timothy Muasya Kitenge will join the Kenya Yearbook Board.