CA acting boss among 10 shortlisted for new data commissioner post

Director of Legal services Mercy Wanjau has been serving as the agency’s boss in an acting capacity
Director of Legal services Mercy Wanjau has been serving as the agency’s boss in an acting capacity. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) interim director general Mercy Wanjau is among ten people shortlisted for the newly created data commissioner’s post.

The new office that will look into data privacy and protection matters comes eight months after President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Data Protection Act on November 8, 2019.

Ms Wanjau, who served as the legal services director before her appointment to head CA on an interim basis last August, will appear before the Public Service Commission on July 7 for her hour-long interview.

IEBC director of voter registration and election operations Immaculate Kassait, Kemu University deputy vice chancellor David Gichoya, and ICT Authority deputy director Thomas Odhiambo are also eyeing the new seat expected to set new standards on how personal and company information is handled, stored and shared.

Other shortlisted candidates are University of Nairobi Computer Science lecturer Brian Gichana, lawyer Anthony Akelo, Universal Services Advisory Council member Dr Kennedy Okong'o, and a former National Police Commission member Murshid Mohamed.


Dr Tobias Mbithi, whose PhD in Information Technology was on Neural Networks in predicting quality metrics for component-based software systems is also slated for an interview as well as the National Taskforce on Data Protection member John Walubengo.

The Office of the Data Commissioner is tasked with maintaining the register of data controllers and data processors, exercising oversight over data processing operations and has investigatory powers with respect to any alleged breach of the provisions of the Data Protection Act.

CA’s quest to recruit a substantive DG has been halted severally since August last year, the latest after the Information Communication Technology Association of Kenya (ICTAK) moved to court accusing the communications regulator of manipulating the recruitment process.