Ruto appoints Kositany new KAA chair as purge on Uhuru's allies continue


Caleb Kositany, chair of the board of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Former Soy Member of Parliament Caleb Kositany has been appointed as the new board chairman of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) in the latest board shakeup by the William Ruto administration.

The appointment by Dr Ruto takes effect immediately and for a period of three years.

Mr Kositany's appointment has seen the removal of Isaac Awuondo, a longtime former President Uhuru Kenyatta ally, who was picked in October 2021.  

Mr Awuondo served as the Group Managing Director of the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) before its merger with NIC to create NCBA. Currently, he is the chairman of the NCBA Group. The Kenyatta family has a 13.2 stake in the third-largest bank. 

Dr Ruto’s administration has made board changes in at least 58 parastatals, replacing more than 100 appointees tapped by his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, as he seeks to assert his influence over State-backed firms and agencies.

Dr Ruto and his Cabinet secretaries have hired at least 119 chairs and directors in 58 parastatals, with the President directly appointing an estimated 53 directors, according to a review of Kenya Gazette notices since the appointments started in November.

The new administration which came to power in September has mostly fired directors appointed in the former president’s last days and populated the boards with losers in the August elections who supported his coalition.

Traditionally, a change in administration triggers shake-ups in parastatals as the new president and ministers move to assert their influence over government-managed firms that have previously been used as centres of patronage by their predecessors.

The next hiring phase will seek to replace chief executives of top State-owned firms despite most of their contracts running up to 2024.

The terms of chief executives of the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), the Geothermal Development Corporation, the National Social Security Fund, the Kenya Railways Corporation, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Kenya Pipeline Corporation and KenGen have either expired or are expiring this year.

The top jobs at Kenya Power, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), KenGen and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company will be low-hanging fruits for new ministers.

Currently, State-owned firms do not have substantive CEOs and the positions look set to attract jostling by political and business operatives for their preferred candidates.

Hiring preferred top executives will require friendlier boards, triggering the shake-up of directorships in the parastatals.

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