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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Battle for KMA director general post rages

A battle to inherit the vacant post of director-general of Kenya Maritime Authority is raging on with a number of names already being floated by interested parties ahead of a competitive recruitment exercise slated for in the coming weeks.
The post has fallen vacant following the expiry of the tenure of the current DG Nancy Karigithu. The KMA board chaired by Kitambi Digore has already advertised the coveted position.
Among those being mentioned as possible successors of Karigithu include Kenya Ports Authority general manager infrastructure development  Abdullahi Samatar, Kenya Ferry Services MD Hassan Musa, Kenya Shippers Council member Juma Tele, Action Aid regional director Kenyatta Maitha and Captain Ruto of KPA marine department.
Unconfirmed sources say national assembly majority leader Aden Duale is pushing for Samatar to land the post. The duo are said to be longtime friends. Before becoming MP for Dujis and later Garissa Town, Duale was a resident of Mombasa for many years where he operated a chemist, a wholesale and a petrol station at Bondeni area near Kibokoni.
Samatar has also been mentioned as a likely successor to Gichiri Ndua as KPA managing director when his term expires. Samatar is among the long serving senior port managers. But the emergence of Duale’s name behind his candidature could unwittingly compromise his chances as Coast politicians could get stung that the majority leader was attempting to influence a major issue in their backyard without their blessings and hit back hard.
But, the KMA board is chaired by Digore, a URP operative who could combine forces with Duale and with the tacit support of the DP handover the DG position to a person of their choice, in this case Samatar. And Captain Ruto of KPA marine is also angling for the post and he is depending on the same URP mandarins to push him through.
But to complicate matters for both Samatar and Ruto are reports that the outgoing DG Karigithu who is well connected allegedly prefers Maitha to succeed her. Maitha was an active member of the Kibaki tena campaign of 2007 and it is claimed he is held in high esteem among some Mount Kenya operatives. He hails from Msambweni in Kwale county.
Juma Tele of the Shippers’ Council is also a strong contender. And like Maitha, he hails from Kwale county. The problem for Tele, however, is that the KMA chair was unlikely to support his candidature given they hails from the same Matuga constituency, a move that could spoil for him if he were to be appointed DG with the argument that people from the same village cannot occupy influential positions in the parastatal.
The ferry MD’s three year contract is about to expire and he is reportedly unsure of getting a renewal from the cabinet secretary for Transport Michael Kamau given the poor manner the ferry services have been run all through. Motorists and passengers using the Likoni ferry are unhappy with the services being offered and have called for the overhaul of the management.
It remains to be seen how the lobbying for the post will go with claims that KMA is a domain of URP while KPA is in control of TNA. However, observers say, appointments to senior positions in parastatals and other government agencies at the Coast will have far reaching ramifications on the 2017 general elections.