The government has started the search for a new Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) managing director, two weeks after the former boss was fired.
KPA board of directors chairman Marsden Mardoka said Wednesday in a notice that the KPA is urgently seeking to recruit a “high calibre, motivated, visionary, dynamic and results oriented individual to fill the position of managing director”.
Former KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua, who had served for five years, was sacked on February 9, together with top officials and police officers at the Mombasa port over corruption. Mr Ndua was ordered to proceed on terminal leave pending the expiry of his contract in July.
Ms Catherine Mturi replaced Mr Ndua in acting capacity. The Mombasa port is one of Kenya's most important assets and whose management has a direct bearing on the country and the region's economic health.
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Mr Ndua’s sacking coincided with that of top KPA officials, including former general manager for operations Twalib Khamisi, former general manager for board and legal services Muthoni Gatere, former general manager for corporate services Justis Nyarandi and former head of security Mohamed Morowa.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, his transport counterpart James Macharia, Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner-General John Njiraini and Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the sackings were aimed at ridding the port of corruption.
Mr Macharia said then that the port’s board had established that staff had failed to fully carry out their duties “to stop or mitigate the possibility of port work and delivery being compromised”.
The sackings were taken on the recommendations of an inter-agency committee formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to look into issues affecting the port.
Most players in the port business have opined that future holders of the position should be shipping professionals.
“The ministry should appoint managers from the shipping industry with skills and professionalism capable of living up to the port’s international status,” Association of Importers of Kenya chairman Peter Mambembe told the Nation after the port sackings on February 9.
Port users blame inefficiencies there on mismanagement, saying politics had taken centre stage in the recruitment of staff.
During his coast tour last month, President Kenyatta vowed that he would fight corruption at the port and enhance its efficiency.