Communications Authority changes terms in fresh hunt for new boss


CA Acting chief executive Mercy Wanjau. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has restarted the process of recruiting a director-general with new terms of qualifications after a court quashed the advertisement for the vacancy.

CA on Tuesday re-advertised for the position, making an about-turn on requirements that applicants seeking to replace former DG Francis Wangusi must possess a postgraduate degree and 15 years of experience, 10 of which must be at senior managerial level.  

This comes a month after the Employment and Labour Relations Court revoked the authority’s recruitment drive and ruled that the process was both procedurally improper and illegal.

Justice Maureen Onyango found that the advertisement for the vacancy did not meet the minimum statutory requirements in terms of the qualifications for the position and the process of advertising.

The Information Communication Technology Association of Kenya (ICTAK) had moved to court to challenge the credential requirements for the top job, saying they were not anchored in the law and barred its members and others who would otherwise be qualified to apply for the position and was, thus, discriminatory.

ICTAK also told the court that the timeframe of the notice was less than the 21 days required by law.

Justice Onyango found that the regulator altered the requirements for the position by enhancing the minimum qualifications set out in the ‘Mwongozo’ Code of Governance for State Corporations, locking out potential candidates.

‘Mwongozo’ sets out the specifications for appointment of chief executives of State corporations as a holder of a degree in the relevant field from a university recognised in Kenya, has at least 10 years knowledge and experience in the relevant field and meets the requirements of Chapter six of the Constitution, among others.

In the fresh notice, the CA now requires applicants to have qualifications in line with the Mwongozo specifications.

The CA has also rescinded the requirement that applicants must have 10 years of experience at senior management level, and will now need to have only five.

“The Authority will offer a competitive package in line with the Public Service guidelines. The appointment shall be on four (4) years contract, renewable once, subject to satisfactory performance,” CA says in the notice.

The CA’s acting Director-General Mercy Wanjau, who previously served as Legal Secretary at the regulator, has held the role for the last 19 months.

The CA has opened applications until June 17, a timeframe which now meets the 21-day threshold.