Kiraitu shakes up power firms’ boards to meet women quota
Posted Monday, February 13 2012 at 20:23
Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi has shaken up power companies’ boardrooms to meet the constitutional requirement for women directorship quotas and replaced others eyeing political posts.
Mr Murungi replaced three directors at Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) including former MP Jimmy Angwenyi and two directors at Geothermal Development Company (GDC) where former assistant minister David ole Sankori has been affected.
Public servants eyeing elective posts are expected by law to resign from their positions at least seven months before the general election, which is expected to take place in December.
The minister also increased the number of women directors on Ketraco’s 10-member board to four, from two, and GDC’s nine-member board to three, from two; making the twin firms among the few state-owned that now comply with the requirement that boards reflect gender diversity.
The new law, which came into force on August 27, 2010 require that no gender should occupy more than two-thirds of boardroom seats in State-owned companies or in firms where the State’s stake is more than half. “The Minister of Energy appoints... to be members of the Board of Directors of the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company, for a period of three years with effect from 10th February 2012,” said Mr Kiraitu in a special gazette notice released yesterday that also reflected the board changes at GDC.
These are the first board changes in the twin firms that were split from KenGen and Kenya Power in 2008 to help secure Kenya’s power needs.
Ketraco was spun off Kenya Power with the brief to build, operate and maintain new electricity transmission lines; while GDC has hived off KenGen in 2009 and mandated with increasing power generation from geothermal sources.
Mr Angwenyi, a former Kitutu Chache MP, is expected to seek an elective post after losing his parliamentary seat in 2007. His counterpart in Ketraco, Mr Dominiciano Maingi, has political ambitions in Isiolo. At GDC, Mr Sankori is also said to be keen on politics. He served as MP for Kajiado Central between 1992 and 2002. John Gitonga also lost his seat at the geothermal firm.
Felicity Biriri has joined Sally Towett and Rhoda Loyor in GDC while Jessie Wanjiru, Patience Nyaoga, and Esther M’Ithiria have been appointed to the Ketraco board.
The number of women in boardrooms of State-owned companies stands at less than 15 per cent, according to the Institute of Directors (Kenya), reflecting the influence that old-boy networks have had over appointments to the boards.