The Kenya ICT Authority: Where an acting CEO is replaced by another acting CEO




John Sergon has replaced Robert Mugo as the new Acting CEO of the Kenya ICT Authority (ICT-A), the parastatal charged with enforcing ICT standards in the public sector, promotion of ICT literacy, capacity, innovation and enterprise in line with the Kenya’s 2017 National ICT Masterplan.

The last substantive CEO at ICT-A was Victor Kyalo. When Kyalo picked to became one of the PSes in the Ministry of ICT, Robert Mugo took over his previous position, and has held it for over two years now, all in an acting capapcity.

(TOP: John Sergon, the new acting CEO at ICT Authority. He’s replaced another acting CEO, Robert Mugo).  

John Sergon, the incoming acting CEO at ICT-A, was previously the Director of ICT at the Ministry of ICT within the Department of ICT and Innovation, overseeing the several high-value ICT projects being implemented by the ministry.

A long-serving government employee, Sergon also served as the acting ICT Secretary, Directorate of e-Government and later on as ICT Director at the same directorate which was domiciled within the Office of the President.

He also served as the Director of the National Security Intelligence Service from 1999 to 2008, after which he joined the Directorate of e-Government.

 

That’s why it is even more curious that Sergon has joined ICT-A in an acting capacity, not the substantive CEO despite his many years in the public service.

Unlike Sergon, the previous holder of the position, Robert Mugo, only joined the government from the private sector in 2011 from Wananchi Group where he’d been the CTO for slightly over a year. Mugo also held senior positions at Safaricom, Flashcom, UUNET (which has since been rebranded to MTN Business after it’s acquired by Telkom South Africa) and Africa Online.

From the ICT-A website, Mugo is still at the organisation, serving as the director in charge of Shared Services. The other directors are Eunice Mueni-Kariuki, who is charge of Partnerships, Innovation and Capacity Development and Paul Kiprono who handles Programmes and Standards.

The ICT-A board, which should appoint the CEO, is composed of Jerome Ochieng’, the recently appointed ICT and Innovation PS who replaced Victor Kyalo and Sammy Itemere; John Sergon; Eliud Waithaka;p Jerotich Sirma and Mercy Pendo.

The ICT-A was formed after the merging of 3 government units – Kenya ICT Board, Directorate of e-Government Services and Government IT Services (GITS).

Among the major projects being implemented by the ICT-A is the school laptop program (also called DigiSchool) and the Presidential Digital Talent Programme (PDTP), a collaboration between the public and private sectors that takes fresh and qualified ICT graduates through an internship programme to build and further develop their ICT capabilities for ICT-related jobs in the market. ICT-A, with sponsorship from various corporates, also hosts the annual Connected Summit (formerly Connected Kenya Summit), which is this year marking 10 years since the event event was first held in 2009.

All this is fine fine, if not commendable. However, our question still remains why the ICT Authority can’t select then appoint a substantive CEO to replace Victor Kyalo, instead of subjecting the public and its stakeholders to this comical circus of naming acting CEOs, over two years down the line?




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