12 on Kenya Ports Authority shortlist as agency looks for new boss

Kenya Ports Authority

Cargo trucks queue at the main entrance of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Gate 24 in this photo taken on June 16, 2022. KPA has shortlisted 12 candidates, including senior managers and politicians allied to top honchos in ruling Kenya Kwanza Alliance, for the plum position of managing director.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has shortlisted 12 candidates, including senior managers and politicians allied to top honchos in ruling Kenya Kwanza Alliance, for the plum position of managing director.

Interviews start today and end tomorrow in Nairobi, Nation established yesterday. The parastatal’s housecleaning by the administration of President William Ruto started with the January revocation of appointments of five board members, who were replaced with new hirelings.

The appointment of Gen (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana as the KPA board chairperson was revoked and the post handed to former Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari.

Dr Sudi Mwasinago (General Manager Operations), Mr William Ruto (General Manager Kisumu Port) and Mr Vincent Sidai (General Manager Lamu Port) are the only KPA insiders slated for the interviews. Dr Mwasinago, who has over 25 years of experience in the logistics and maritime industries, joined KPA in 1995 from Kenya Commercial Bank and rose through the ranks.

The trained port management professional graduated with a Master of Science degree in maritime affairs, specialising in port management from the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden in 2006.

Mr Ruto joined KPA in 2001 as a senior marine pilot. He has served at sea as a deck officer on board a variety of vessel types, including tankers, container and general cargo vessels before finally taking command of a general cargo ship. He studied at South Tyneside College in the UK for a Higher National Diploma in Nautical Science and gained his class 1Master Mariner (Foreign Going). 

Also on the list are Mr Stanley Chai, who was an adviser on the blue economy at the Executive Office of the President and Mr Dennis Lewa of the Northern Corridor Transit Transport Coordination Authority (an intergovernmental body in East Africa.

Mr Lewa, an economist, also served as county secretary at the Mombasa County Government. He has a Master of Science degree in Economics from the State University of Bergamo, Italy.

He studied for his Bachelor Arts (economics) degree at Kenyatta University and holds a diploma in banking and financial services from the Kenya Institute of Bankers in Nairobi. Others on the list are Ms Halima Ali Omar, who unsuccessfully contested the Wajir Woman Representative position, and Mr Alex Kazongo, a former National Social Security Fund boss.

Dr Jane Chepkorir Barus from Baringo and Mr Modest Kitimo Kombo from Taita Taveta, who were on last year’s Public Service Commission shortlist for the Principal Secretary position, are also set for interviews.

Other notable names are ms Rachel Balu Musyoki and Dr Patrick Maingi Muinde. Mr Nicodemus Odera Odongo, who served as the acting National Hospital Insurance Fund chief executive officer, is also angling for the job.

Candidates should have a master’s degree in port management, maritime, shipping and logistics, engineering, business, social sciences, public policy, or science and technology. They must also have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and 15 years of experience in port management.

This is the fourth time in three years that the government is looking to fill this position. In slightly over a decade, four senior officials who have held the position have either resigned or been fired. According to the notice by former KPA chairman Joseph Kibwana, the successful candidate is expected to manage Mombasa, Lamu, and Kisumu wet ports as well as the Naivasha and Nairobi inland container depots.