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Kenya: Wangusi leaves CA amid controversy

Kenya: Wangusi leaves CA amid controversy

Mercy Wanjau, director legal services and board secretary at the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), has been appointed as interim director general of the organisation as Francis Wangusi reluctantly steps down.

"Given the strategic responsibilities vested on the Authority, we are committed to ensure there is no leadership vacuum and that we deliver on our vision of 'a digitally transformed nation," said CA board of directors chairman Ngene Gituku.

Wanjau has consulted with KPMG South Africa, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Kenya and has experience in legal commerce. She has also served in in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

However, Wangusi has been quoted in the local media as saying he would not relinquish his post and said his is unqualified.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court had temporarily suspended the change in management until 27 August following a petition filed by the Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek).

Cofek said that owing to sensitivity of regulatory role of the CA, the director general shouldn't be allowed to leave office when there is no functional board in place.

While ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has since approved the appointment of an interim director general, Cofek has added: "The Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA), 1998 restricts ICT Cabinet Secretary from directing CA other than offering policy directions of a general nature and which must be in writing."

Gituku confirmed the end of Wangusi's tenure, officially on 21 August, and thanked the outgoing director general for his work since taking up the position in 2012.

According to Gituku Wangusi successfully managed digital television implementation and has deepened digital financial inclusion.

However, Wangusi's tenure was not without controversy, including the 2015 shutdown of free-to-air - air television that resulted in several stations having to go off air.

"There is no doubt Mr. Wangusi made his mark in the sector and will remain an important footnote in the history of the ICT industry for a long time to come. On behalf of the Board and management of CA, I wish Mr. Wangusi success in his next phase of life and in his future endeavours," Gituku said.

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