Three former senior newspaper editors are among seven candidates selected for the position of Media Council of Kenya Chairman.
University don Prof George Morara Nyabuga, Joseph Maina Muiruri and Timothy Wanyonyi made the cut as the selection panel on Tuesday announced interview dates for those seeking to replace Charles Kerich, who left last year after being appointed as a member of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s Cabinet.
The panel is chaired by Kenya Union of Journalists Secretary General Erick Oduor. Prof Nyabuga is a former Managing Editor (Weekend Editions and Media Convergence) at The Standard Group and remains a regular newspaper columnist.
On the other hand, Muiruri is a former Managing Editor of The People Daily while Wanyonyi held senior roles at Nation Media Group, the last being Head of Content.
Also shortlisted is Dr Stanley Mbugua Njoroge, a communication and editing consultant who has previously worked for, among others, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).
Others are Tabitha Muchemi, a former manager, corporate affairs and communications with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Andrew Limo, who also worked at IEBC as a public relations officer.
The Selection Panel has also shortlisted career banker William Bill Omoding, a member of the Rongo University Council; and Metha Loyd Kaburu, a certified public accountant.
At the same time, the selection panel has shortlisted 38 individuals for the position of MCK board member. The process of selecting Kerich’s successor has not been without headwinds with the
Communication specialist Peter Mutie, a former MCK board member, had been ranked as the top candidate but questions emerged over his selection as other candidates were eliminated on grounds they held other public jobs such as at the university yet the panel overlooked the fact that he also sat in a parastatal board.
However, the Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek), which was represented on the panel, claimed the decision to readvertise the position was at the instigation of Information and Communication Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, who allegedly had a favourite candidate.
It accused the panel of hiding behind National Values and the Values and Principles of Public Service yet it was, at the same time, not adhering to the law to unprocedurally annul the process and restart it afresh six months after it commenced.
But speaking to Business Today, a source familiar with the process said the decision to readvertise was on the AG’s advice and was meant to give everyone a fair chance so that whoever emerges the winner does so on merit.
It understood the the AG advised the panel that Mutie could not be nominated unless he takes a sabbatical.