Saturday, 4 January 2014

KENYA: CCK to rebrand as it firms grip on the industry in line with new law

PHOTO | FILE Royal Media Services has said it wants orders to stop CCK from instituting criminal charges against its owner, Mr Samuel Kamau Macharia, and other company officials.

Friday, January 3, 2014 |  by- Ramenya Gibendi

By Ramenya Gibendi

Author Profile
The Communications Commission of Kenya is set to undergo a major overhaul in the next three months in a move meant to align it with the newly enacted industry law.
The Kenya Information and Communications Act, assented into law in December, requires the government to reconstitute the board of the communications sector regulator within 90 days of the Act coming into force.
It will also see the commission change its name to the Communications Authority of Kenya in order to reflect its regulatory mandate better.
“A person who was a member of the board of the former body shall continue to hold office for a period not exceeding 90 days or until the appointment of the members,” notes the Act in part.
Yesterday, CCK public relations manager Christopher Wambua said the commission’s legal team is still studying the new law.
“Not much will change in terms of our jurisdiction but our legal team is studying the new law in order to advise the management and licensees. We will begin the re-branding campaign early February and expect to have changed name before the end of the first quarter,” Mr Wambua said.
The law is expected to strengthen CCK’s grip on the entire communications industry, including mobile money and Internet banking, while freeing the commission from political inference in its work.
“The Authority shall be independent and free of control by government, political or commercial interests in exercise of its powers and in the performance of its functions,” it reads.
The new board shall have 11 members comprising of the chair, seven members appointed by the ICT cabinet secretary, principal secretaries from the ministries of ICT and the National Treasury, and the sitting director-general.
Under the new regime, before appointment, board members shall be interviewed by a multi-stakeholder panel.
The selection team shall draw representatives from the Media Council of Kenya, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the Law Society of Kenya, Institute of Engineers of Kenya and Public Relations Society of Kenya.
Other panellists shall be come from the Kenya National Union of Teachers, Consumers Federation of Kenya and the ICT ministry.
All board members shall be required to be degree holders in law, telecommunications, computer science or information and communication technology, economics, broadcasting, postal regulation or commerce.
The chairperson of the board shall be appointed by the president.
The current CCK board is chaired by Mr Ngene Gituku while directors include Mutea Iringo, Dr Monica Makau, Francis Ngesa, Samuel Rutto, Beatrice Opee and Aloys An’gasa.
“A person shall be qualified for appointment as a member of the Board, if such person not being a degree holder, can demonstrate a distinguished career of not less than twenty years in the information, communication and technology sector,” the new law says.

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