Economy

Keter suffers blow in bid to pick energy regulator boss

keter

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter has suffered a blow after Parliament thwarted his attempt to unilaterally appoint the chief executive of the energy sector regulator. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter has suffered a blow after Parliament thwarted his attempt to unilaterally appoint the chief executive of the energy sector regulator.
  • Mr Keter wanted the law changed to allow the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) board forward three candidates from where he will choose one to head the energy regulator.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter has suffered a blow after Parliament thwarted his attempt to unilaterally appoint the chief executive of the energy sector regulator.

Mr Keter wanted the law changed to allow the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) board forward three candidates from where he will choose one to head the energy regulator.

The Energy Act currently requires the Epra board to appoint the CEO after consulting the Cabinet Secretary.

Parliament, through Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya struck out the proposed amendment arguing it contradicts the Mwongozo Code of Conduct for State Corporations.

“In his requests, the Leader of the Majority Party indicates that the said proposed amendments relating to the Energy Act, 2019 contravene the Mwongozo Code of Governance for State Corporations and other Government policy directives governing the appointment of Chief Executive Officers of State Corporations,” Speaker Justin Muturi ruled.

Mwongozo mandates the board of any parastatal to appoint and remove the CEO. The code was developed in 2014 to insulate parastatal heads from political interference.

The proposed changes came as the term the embattled EPRA former Director-General Pavel Oimeke was coming to an end.

EPRA board chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Jackton Ojwang’ asked Mr Oimeke to step aside on August 17 pending the conclusion of a court case blocking his reappointment to head EPRA for a second term.

Mr Oimeke, who was has been in office since 2017, is eligible for a second term, but Mr Emmanuel Wanjala rushed to court arguing that the renewal should not be automatic due to allegations of corruption, losses and abuse of office.

Mr Kimunya, who sponsored the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2020, petitioned Mr Muturi seeking consent to withdrawal the proposed amendment.