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In a candid late-night interview on Citizen television ICT and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said he did not hire the current Director General of the Communication Authority of Kenya Mr David Mugonyi.

ICT and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Mr. Eliud Owalo. Photo: KNA

The subject appeared to be of interest to the interviewer as three people have held the office in short stints during the past twelve months.

Christopher Wambua served shortly as the acting Director General, following suspension of Ezra Chiloba who took up office when Owalo was already the appointing authority in the docket.

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The Communications Authority of Kenya is the oversight authority in ICT and Digital communication in the country.

Mr Owalo however proved an articulate and suave panellist when he weaved his way out by stating:

“I did not appoint the Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya. That does not lie within my functional domain, it is the domain of the board of CAK to do that.”

While defending the loss-making Postal Corporation of Kenya Owalo acknowledged the heavy debt the Corporation had sunk into and revealed strategies set ahead to make it a viable entity. “There is nothing wrong with a given parastatal being in debt,” said the CS, adding “what is wrong is being in debt and doing nothing about it to alleviate the situation. I have given instructions to the management and board of the Postal Corporation of Kenya that moving forward, I don’t want to see any salary delays. The critical success factor for Posta moving forward is the pursuit of e-commerce.”

And while on his pet subject of countrywide digitalisation Owalo said his ministry had embarked on partnering with MPs through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to ensure that in every ward in the country, a digital hub is set up.

Owalo opens Ajira ICT Hub in Kiambu. Photo: NMG

All through the interview, Owalo came across as factual and candid; accepting failures and building upon achievements. He lacked the condescending air of his fellow ministers who are often ill-equipped to handle themselves in the glare of public scrutiny.

 

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