Questions abound as Kenya Power picks top managers

Monday, December 23rd, 2019 00:00 |
Kenya Power. Photo/Courtesy

Kenya Power has appointed nine insiders as substantive general managers to fill the vacant positions left after a corruption purge, but overlooked immediate former acting Chief Executive Officer Jared Othieno, whose fate remains unknown, with his former position as acting general manager Street Lighting, taken up.

In a statement to the media on Friday, Kenya Power appointed Peter Waweru Njenga the new general manager, Street Lighting, a position Othieno held albeit in an acting position before being elevated to acting CEO after former CEO Ken Tarus was relieved of his responsibilities by Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter.

Imelda Chepkoech Bore and Charles Mwaura were confirmed as the company’s corporate affairs and company secretary, and Systems Operations Network, respectively while Rosemary Achola Oduor moved to customer service and regional coordination from energy management.

Aggrey Jesambuli Machasion becomes the general manager, Connectivity Implementation, after having served as the acting general manager, customer service and regional coordination.

Mohamed Abu Somo will now head the finance department, from treasury and revenue accounting; John Kibyegon Ng’eno moves to Supply Chain, while Cecil Mung’wele will take charge of the human resource and administration docket. Robert Kariuki becomes the general manager, Information and Telecommunication Technology.

“The above appointments will be on a four- year contract term,” noted the statement signed by Chief Executive Officer Bernard Ngugi. 

The positions were advertised in October. The nine appointees were  interviewed by consulting firm, Deloitte, who said renewal will be based on performance and requirements.

Supply chain

But Othieno’s exclusion has raised eyebrows as to why he was not considered even for his former position, more so since all the appointees are insiders.

The appointments also followed a script played out during the unveiling of Ngugi, who himself is a veteran of the company having worked at the utility firm for 30 years  as at the time of appointment was the general manager in charge of supply chain.

When Ngugi was unveiled as the new CEO, by the Kenya Power board chairman Mahboub Maalim, Othieno was missing in action, becoming one of many acting CEOs to be thrown under the bus and begging the question whether acting CEOs know too much for their own good.

HR Development consultant Samson Osore, speaking to Business Hub on phone said although many organisations have elaborate succession plans, potential CEOs from within are sidestepped because of internal and external pressures. 

“Intense internal and external politics override objectivity based on the candidates’ competencies, track record and demonstrable experience,” he said.

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