, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – President Mwai Kibaki has extended the tenure of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) chairman Philip Okundi for another three years.
The re-appointment, which was made through a gazette notice, takes effect from October 25, 2011.
“President Mwai Kibaki has made the appointment vide a Kenya Gazette notice in accordance with Section 6(1) (a) of the State Corporations Act, Cap 446,” a statement from CCK read.
Okundi was appointed CCK board chairman for the first time in October 2008, a term that was largely uneventful until March 2010 when a tiff with the then Director General Charles Njoroge brought to the fore deep rooted boardroom intrigues.
In what stemmed from an altercation between the two, Okundi unilaterally decided to send Njoroge on compulsory leave in March 2010, which was only two months before the expiry of the DG’s contract.
Later, it emerged that Njoroge had been sacked, a move that caused divisions even within the board as the members were never consulted.
Information Minister Samuel Poghisio under whom the regulator falls was irked by the developments which were happening behind his back and saw him threaten to dissolve the board.
The minister also came under fire when he reinstated the embattled Njoroge and went ahead to renew his contract.
But even as personal differences between the DG and his chairman continued, it also emerged that there could have been some invisible forces that were behind the row due to business interests.
The row however seemed to have been quelled when Njoroge was removed from office through a court order and replaced by the CCK’s Director in charge of Special Projects and Broadcasting Francis Wangusi in an acting capacity.
But as the issues surrounding the appointment of the DG, Okundi, a seasoned ICT expert, will continue to head the board until 2014.
The chairman has vast experience in the telecommunications industry having worked at the defunct East African Posts and Telecommunications Corporation in various capacities from a pupil engineer in 1966 to the position of Deputy Director General in charge of telecommunications in 1974.
Okundi was a Member of Parliament for Rangwe Constituency between 2003-2007 during which time he was a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Communications and Public Works.
He holds a Master of Science (Msc) in Telecommunications Systems Engineering from the University of Essex and a BSc in Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Westminster.