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Nelson C. Kuria- Kenya’s Insurance Oracle Has Come Along Way And Is Back Home



Chairman of the BOD CIC Insurance Dr. Nelson Kuria
Chairman of the BOD CIC Insurance Dr. Nelson Kuria

 In mid-1993 Eliud Adiedo, together with five other greenhorns got employed at the flourishing state-owned Kenya National Assurance Company(KNAC ), in what would be their first job since completing their undergraduate studies.

And the Marketing Department arguably proved to be a natural port of call for Adiedo having studied for a Bachelor of Commerce degree in India.   

 Will His Return Be A Hand of Providence for The CIC Insurance Group?

That year would also mark the first time this present-day CEO of the 53-year-old Association of Insurance Brokers of Kenya (AIBK)  would formally meet  Mr. Nelson Kuria, then Chief Manager at the underwriter in charge of the General Insurance Division. 

“He was very amicable and endearing, avoiding squabbles at any cost, even when clearly the marketing department was acting contemptuously towards his division. Overall, he appeared to fully understand the nuances of the industry. But what stands out for Dr.Kuria is that if you pass through his hands it will not be lost that he intentionally seeks to thoroughly mold a professional imbibed with good character traits, ” says Adiedo.

On April 22, 2016, something untoward happened

 Mr.Simon Vincent Njoroge Ngwiri, a- once -upon -a- time CEO of East Africa’s largest insurer at the time, namely  KNAC, succumbed to a stroke and died.


Many people, according to the local Daily Nation of April 28 valued him “for his impeccable integrity and unwavering desire to develop people professionally. ”

And  Kuria was  one of them

Wrote the Daily Nation: Having been an assistant manager during Ngwiri’s reign,  Kuria learned firsthand how the great (“quiet but assertive”) man ran KNAC and drove it to unprecedented heights of prosperity.

“He is a hero,” Mr. Kuria declared. “For those who care about integrity, Ngwiri was a role model but because our values as a society do not attach a premium to integrity, he was ignored.”

 This voraciousness defines the vintage Kuria – integrity is inextricably part of his DNA.

Press forward and today -Kuria’s name has added the honorific title of Dr. besides morphing into a kahuna on the global insurance ecosystem including being the Board Chairman of the CIC Insurance Group.


He is also a recipient of two presidential awards:  namely the Order of the Grand Warrior in 2005 and the Moran of the Burning Spear in 2011, two national accolades handed over to him for his immense contribution to Kenya’s cooperative movement.

His LinkedIn profile indicates,  presently he sits as Chairman of seven generic Boards including being the CEO of one company.

And while Dr. Kuria is widely celebrated today as an accomplished corporate captain, his success belies his destitute genealogy while growing up, which he says, has been the source of the fire in his belly.

“ I was born and bred up in Nyandarua in a place called Kinagop where I experienced real abject poverty. As a family, we would intermittently sleep on empty stomachs. We then relocated to a place called Ndunduri( Gwa Kiongo) which was more backward.

My father used to milk cows, belonging to colonists while my mother owned only one nylon dress which she used to hand-wash on Sundays and dry using the Kikuyu traditional three stones kitchen, “says this recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Leadership award in 2017 by the Swiss Management Academy.


“ So if you are talking about poverty, it’s something that I can relate to because I have not read about it in books and I’ve not internalized it by reading World Bank statistics, for I have lived in a state of penury. That is why I’m today a strong advocate of equity and social justice,” says Dr. Kuria.

Sadly his father died in 1983, four years after graduating from the University of Nairobi. And as a firstborn in a family of seven children, the responsibility of bringing up his siblings fell on his shoulders

 He initially gained entry into the insurance industry in 1982 when he joined  KNAC, working there for 12 years before exiting in 1996 after becoming Chief Manager of the insurance division to try his hand at running a personal consultancy.

His first job upon graduating from the UON in  1979 was working as a project economist  at the  Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation(ICDC)

But two years later Dr. Kuria was headhunted and as fate would have it, he took a big gamble and joined the Co-operative Insurance Company of Kenya (CIS), a company that was financially distressed, ranking 32 in terms of premium business out of 37 registered local underwriters.


The person headhunting Kuria meanwhile had two job offers. The first one was with a small investment bank that offered better pay compared to the second option, which was the insurer. 

But Kuria was advised to take the insurance job despite the pay being less. 

But why?

 Because the role he was being offered – chief manager in charge of strategy and business development -was more challenging compared to what he was expected to do at the investment bank.

It turns out that by 1994 the Insurance company was technically insolvent, needing a Ksh 100 million (present-day US$ 827,011.60) capital injection for it to survive.

 In addition, the Authorities were declining to issue the Insurer with an operating license including threatening to deregister CIS.


The first decade of CIS’s existence was sheer bliss, according to a research titled: Rediscovering Success: A Case Study of CIC Insurance Group, as the underwriter faced no major competitor for business flowing from the cooperative insurance sector. 

And as a result CIS somewhat became complacent

However, in the latter part of the1980s and early 1990s liberalization of the sector happened and CIS’s monopoly of the cooperative sector was jolted. This was courtesy of the World Bank which had imposed Structural Adjustment Programs as a minimum condition allowing the unlocking of badly needed funds.

As a negative spin-off, CIS’s former advantage overnight became its liability, understandably because its leadership had failed to explore fresh markets including shirking from securing the established business emanating from the cooperative movement. 

 Expectedly, after liberalization, cooperatives suddenly discovered that they did not have to insure with CIS anymore. They also unearthed the rates offered by CIS could be matched or bettered by other insurers.

In addition, there was undue interference in the running of the firm which made it much harder to implement policies that could assist the underwriter from its financial difficulties. 


Reads part of the research, “ Furthermore, CIC lacked autonomy from the Government. This is in spite of the fact the Government had no shares in CIS, yet it exercised a lot of influence through its appointee, the Commissioner of Cooperatives. The board, for example, fired the CEO due to his lackluster performance only for him to be reinstated by the government,” reads part of the research.  

Veritably by joining  CIS it arguably seemed  Kuria’s work had singularly been cut out for him 

 “ Moreover, the hiring of Mr. Nelson Kuria, an experienced hand with in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan insurance industry, injected a refreshing impetus for the management. The recruitment, a move by the CIS leadership to have someone understudy the then CEO, Mr. Silas Kobia, and succeeded him at the expiry of his term, tapped vast experience and skill, hitherto lacking in the organization that injected fresh passion and energy in the management,” reads part of the Case Study. 

He was to assist transform a company that had graciously received a cash injection of Ksh 90 million (presently US$ 744,310.44) from the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), a 100-year-old international organization which had also seconded two Canadian consultants to assist ameliorate the underbelly of the underwriter – but it turned out the twin fold effort floundered.

For three years after receiving the Ksh 90 million cash injection, ICMIF wanted out, for it seemed the CIS brand was simply a hopeless case and had surreptitiously relinquished the business to another company-all that was remaining for the deal to mature for the workforce at CIC to sign off.

“ I told the international investors that we were not going to allow the company to be sold off. And it was wrong for them to go behind our backs to negotiate a deal on our behalf. In addition, I told the Executive committee of the Board that we were not going to agree to the deal. We had our own dignity even though we were not shareholders. That is when I learned the essence of moral courage. The rest is history,” says Dr. Kuria who at the time had been with the company for three months, a period that allowed him to carry out a swot analysis of the company. 


Capitalizing on his vast experience, knowledge, and skills, both at the management and operational level, Mr. Kuria teamed up with the CIS leadership and management to develop a comprehensive five-year strategic plan that was unveiled in 1999. This strategic plan laid the foundation for the radical transformation of the organization and created a unified purpose that galvanized all the stakeholders in fighting for its survival,” reads part of the case study. 

That same year – 1999  – the company rebranded from CIS to Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC) Ltd.

Two years lapsed and  Dr. Kuria ascended to the corner office and eventually made it to group CEO in 2011.

And after 14 years of holding the reins at CIC insurance, a period widely considered to have been the golden years for this rekindling insurer, Kuria retired. 

 “ The transformation of CIC Insurance was a phenomenon. We had three local subsidiaries, namely, Life, General, and Asset management companies. We also achieved regional footprints in South Sudan, Uganda, and Malawi. We were actually looking after a Group with six subsidiaries. And the Group had risen to become the leading cooperative insurer within the Third world. And we were widely seen as a role model of cooperative insurance development in the world,” Dr. Kuria briefly summarizes the sort of iron-clad legacy associated with his 14-year tenure.

 A month later after retiring two inquisitive local business journalists sought to know what Dr. Kuria planned to do during his retirement.


Said Dr. Kuria, “As one leadership guru said, opportunities do not run around waiting to be discovered; they are like buried treasure that only the most discerning and persevering find.” 

“I will be going on sabbatical leave for two months to have a proper rest. Afterward, I will consider offering my knowledge and experience in financial services by sitting on boards, both in the public and private sectors, if invited,” he told the local Standard Newspaper.

 In addition, he said, “I would also like to put in more time serving God through the church, as well as giving back to society.” 

Dr. Kuria says his character of servant leadership was initially honed by the De La Salle Brothers who taught at Nyahururu High School, his alma mater and he also appreciates an Opus Dei leaning  Prof.Terry Ryan who happened to be his economist lecturer during his undergraduate days for his mentorship.

In the business, circle turbulence is a normal occurrence and CIC insurance is not immune to the vagaries that buffet corporate bodies.

This was proven true in the fiscal year ending Dec 2020 when this Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed company posted a Ksh 296.8 million (US$ 2,454,570.43).


With the conspicuously dampening financial results upending a 13-year profit-making run by the insurer since 2007.

It also marked the first full-year loss to be reported by the company since listing on the NSE on July 18 2012 becoming the sixth insurance company to be listed on the bourse and overall, the 60th company to list.

The downcast news coming from CIC insurance emanated from the  investment income of this underwriter which had slumped by 25.9 % to KSh1.2 billion (US$11.08m) in a period when the Covid-19 pandemic had depressed share prices on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

“ The insurers’ bottom line was also hurt by a 7.6 percent rise in claims to KSh5.4 billion (US$49.85m). Its net premiums were flat at KSh7.1 billion (US$ 65.55m). CIC’s operating expenses dropped 10.7 percent to KSh2.8 billion (US$25.85m) while finance costs declined 10.1 percent to KSh302 million (US$2.79m),” reported CEO Business Africa.

Tellingly the insurer was hemorrhaging cash and was in need of a fixer

And normally when a company careens about a corporate debacle, business prudence dictates the hiring of an independent Director as a probable panacea.


For the Board of CIC insurance, Dr. Kuria seemed a perfect fit and on September 29, 2020, it appointed him as an independent director, a clear acknowledgment of the white knight credentials of this talismanic corporate insider who currently owns  0.6 % of CIC insurance.

According to the Nairobi-based Business Daily, Dr. Kuria’s appointment was part of ongoing management and boardroom changes geared at turning around the fortunes of a loss-making organization.

Veritably, it would appear the CIC Board was prescient in believing Dr. Kuria’s presence would speed- up the reawakening of the limping organization.

For six months after the arrival of Dr. Kuria, the underwriter reported a Ksh 668.4 million (US$ 5,527,745.53) net profit for the year ending December 2021, the highest net profit in six years, from a recovery of Ksh 296.8 million (US$ 2,454,570.43) loss registered the previous year.  

Leading the Group CEO Patrick Nyaga who owns 0.5 % of the company said the improved performance was a result of turnaround strategies started in mid-2020.


Said Nyaga, “The positive results are attributed to the implementation of key transformational initiatives during the year, key among them: performance management, functional structures to support our Corporate Strategic Plan, operational efficiency, cost optimization, digitization, research, and innovation among others.”

To close Nairobi watchers the ensuing naming of Dr. Kuria as Chairman of

the CIC Insurance Board was justified with generic local insurance practitioners, praising the move following the retirement of James Magomere who had served as Chairperson for 16 years.

According to Mr. Clifford Ochieng, Chairman  Association Of Kenya Professional Insurance Agents (AKPIA)  ​​Dr.Kuria possesses the inner knowledge of what makes CIC tick including the inherent professional pedigree and character traits necessary to steer the underwriter to its next chapter of success.

Says Ochieng,“ Dr. Kuria was responsible for the turnaround at CIC insurance before it became a group. His Integrity, valuable Connections, and wide network within and around the global cooperative movement played a bigger role. 


“Having served on different Boards of organizations and also as an economic advisor to President Uhuru Kenyatta. That also played a bigger role as he brings the experience, connections, and networks to the CIC Group brand.”


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Corporate World

Dr. Manu Chandaria: East Africa’s No.1 Philanthropist Indelibly Secures an Unvarnished Legacy



Dr. Manu Chandaria

 “The wealth that you have is not yours. You are only the trustee of the wealth you have,”  Dr. Manilal Premchand Chandaria

I have come to terms with my own mortality and what better way to deal with that than to bequeath to the living?” wittingly asks Dr. Manu Chandaria, veritably the bellwether in the altruistic area of philanthropism within Africa’s fastest-growing region. And understandably, because of his ubiquitous charitable engagements drawing in the existential sectors of health, education, and social services, this nonagenarian typically attracts circumspect admirers as he transcendently redefines charitableness, with no questions asked.   

This past August, for example, Dr. Chandaria fittingly became the first African awardee of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. According to Eric D. Isaacs,  president of the Carnegie Institution, it was Dr. Chandaria’s work to give “hope for a healthier and better-educated population” that caught the attention of the award’s selection committee, 

“Mr. Chandaria is setting a very high standard for philanthropy through his support for higher education and his efforts to mobilize and empower a new generation of business leaders,” Isaacs wrote in a statement to Devex. “We believe that his example will inspire other philanthropists, perpetuating the virtuous cycle that the Carnegie family of institutions seeks to advance.”

On receiving the global award, this professional Engineer who is an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1951,  underscored that philanthropy was more than just giving money to people in need, noting that people can still be philanthropic by contributing to society in any way they can.


“Philanthropy is not just about writing a cheque and giving it away. It is about serving the community. Whether it is by giving money, by working for the community or by looking after them, whatever way that’s what I call philanthropy,” he said.

  With an estimated net wealth of $2.5 billion inextricably tied to the 107 -year-old family-owned Comcraft Group of Companies, of which he is  Chair, this 93-year-old  industrialist is in big measure part of a selfless, moneyed,

global coterie who passed as proteges of John D. Rockefeller who formalized charitable giving back in 1913, setting up the Rockefeller Foundation.

 Mr. Warren Buffet,92, is a quintessential example.

In 2010 he and Bill Gates launched the Giving Pledge Initiative, asking billionaires to commit to donating at least half of their wealth to charitable causes, with Patrice Motsepe becoming the first African to sign up for the initiative.


  Locally, the philanthropic spirit is getting traction.

The top office in the land took cue as witnessed in 2003 when former President Mwai Kibaki conferred  Dr. Chandaria with the award of the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS) “ in recognition of outstanding or distinguished services rendered to the nation in various capacities and responsibilities.” 

And on the global stage, Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him an OBE (Order of the British Empire) “ in recognition of his work for the community in Kenya and promotion of Kenyan economic and British interests in Kenya.”

In 2020 the local Standard newspaper, quoting an anonymous source drawn from the Comcroft Group of Companies, reported Dr. Manu Chandaria had at the time contributed over Ksh 11 billion ( about US$ 100,000,000) to charity.   

Verifiably this seasoned rainmaker is not averse to donating money to worthy causes including but not limited to  Ksh 100 million ( US$ 814,464.89 ) handed to Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Ksh 125 million ( US$ 1,018,081.11)  to the University of Nairobi, Ksh 25 million to Kenyatta University, and water tanks and hand sanitizers to Kenya’s Police Force during the Covid-19 epidemic. And for the last 67 years, The Chandaria Foundation has supported hundreds of secondary school children especially the girl child through its bursary program.


“Elsewhere, we are the heart valves of the Chandaria School of Business at the United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi and have helped set up the Chandaria Innovation and Incubation Centre at Kenyatta University. We have started a Chandaria Centre for Performing arts at the University of Nairobi.  The Mabati Technical Institute and Mabati Medical Centre at our flagship company, Mabati Rolling Mills Ltd are supported by the Chandaria Foundation.” Dr. Chandaria is quoted by the Standard newspaper.

“Adding,“ We support many secondary schools across the country in one way or the other. Leap Hubs that we are rolling out in conjunction with the Global Peace Foundation will help students start learning and finding out with the help of others what they can do after school whether or not they proceed to universities and polytechnics. Our aim is to help them create a sustainable business.” 

 And intermittently out of gratitude, beneficiaries of Dr. Chandaria’s selflessness often name institutions eponymously after this local industrialist.

 Disarmingly humble, Dr. Chandaria’s demeanor masks his deep pockets; the way he lives his life embodies a perfect picture of frugality. 

“My wardrobe has five suits. One new comes in, one goes out. I give it out. It’s a lesson about giving. I learned it from Mahatma Gandhi. I followed Gandhi when I was at University. I accepted everything he told us. He led a very simple life,” he told the Standard newspaper.


When he hosted your correspondent in his office along Limuru Road, Nairobi there was nothing displaying a lifestyle coalescing around conspicuous consumption. 

 Everything around him spoke of simplicity.

 But the framed pictures dotting the walls of his office spoke of a man who had dined with the most powerful and influential people in the world. There were framed photos of Mother Theresa and President George W Bush.

 “Mother Teresa was a friend of ours. She came to our house four times. She taught us a lot about prayer. Giving is simple when you want to give. It’s easy to give when you feel the pain of others,” Dr. Chandaria told Jeff Koinange.

 In an interview with African Philanthropy Forum, (APF) this celebrated philanthropist said, “The wealth that you have is not yours. You are only the trustee of the wealth you have.”

 Asked what he would change if he could live his life over, Chandaria responded with characteristic humility and compassion: he would have started serving others sooner, reported the APF.


He explains the genesis of his philanthropic streak is in-grained in the larger Chandaria family. 

“ Back in the 1950s, we heard about the Rockefeller and Ford foundations and what they were doing in America. When my brother and I came back from America we thought of starting The Chandaria Foundation. This was in 1954. The idea was to help people without waiting for them to approach the Chandaria family. We thought that with a foundation there would be a focus on our giving. This has proved to be true over the years.”

 For a man, whose father studied up to standard three and whose mother was initially illiterate, Dr. Chandaria understandably possesses a soft spot for his parents.

“The family was poor. They only spoke Gujarati, while my mother started reading and writing in vernacular at the age of 55. They strongly felt that the future of their children would not be any better than theirs unless they got educated. To them, this was the only way to get the family out of poverty. To me, education plays an important role in the life of a person’s evolution. It’s because of education that we are what we are today.”

He explains: “Ours is a family business. I came back to Mombasa after my master’s degree in engineering at a USA University in 1955. My brother and two cousins, Keshav, Kanti, and Kapoor with various educational backgrounds also returned to Mombasa. Our family had two businesses, one in Nairobi providing wholesale services to many retail shops throughout Kenya.

The second business was the Kaluworks plant in Mombasa. It was established in 1929 and was the major supplier of aluminum pots and pans in Kenya and Tanganyika till World War Two.


Over the years other younger members of the family finished their education in the UK including the United States and also joined the business. It was a small business with only 40 employees and five members of the family. When we came back after our education, we were of two minds, of either starting our own business or working in the family business.

“After considering the fact that our parents gave us the opportunity to go to university for higher education and they had constantly struggled after settling down in Kenya in 1915, we felt we could not disappoint them and ruin their dreams.

We decided to join them to grow the business. Under the guidance of my two elder brothers Devchand and Ratilal, we all put our efforts to grow our small company and within the first five years we had five hundred people working for us.” 

In big measure, Jainism has had a seminal effect on Dr. Chandaria.

 In an exclusive interview with JoongAng  Group in 2010, Dr. Chandaria described his family’s spiritual heritage as an influence on his philanthropy.

 “Jainism has taught me moderation through abstinence and vegetarianism. It guides me to live a life through union and unity within the family,” he reportedly said.


Indeed according to Sean Bevis, a Master’s graduate from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, who studied Indian Religious and Philosophical Systems, specializing in Jainism and Buddhism, “ “donations” are generally regarded as positive acts of charity within the Jain community,” he writes in an essay titled  “A Philosophical and Sociological analysis of the role of ‘charity’ in Jainism with specific reference to the nature of dana ( giving)  and aparigraha  (non-possession )in both Jain and non-Jain environments.”

In order to renounce parigraha (‘possession’) which he refers to as delusion “which causes a person to develop false notions such as “this is mine” or “I made that” and thinking that one can hold onto what he or she currently “has” forever”  and murccha  ( delusion of possession) an individual has to detach themselves from the ten “external possessions” which are land, houses, silver, gold, livestock, grain, maidservants, manservants, clothing, and miscellaneous goods such as furniture[17].

From the mendicant point of view, all these possessions must be given up entirely, apart from in the ‘white clad’ Śvetāmbara sect whose renunciates are allowed to wear clothing[18]. From the point of view of the laity, aparigraha[4] is adhered to by imposing limits on what he or she may own which means that once they have reached the ceiling on the number of goods owned, they should not exceed it as this would constitute parigraha

Vijay Nath in her book, Dāna[11]: Gift System in Ancient India: A Socio-economic Perspective, wrote: “Ancient Hindu lawgivers were always cognizant of the spiritual merit arising from the act of dāna[11]. So much importance was attached to it as a primary social need that it came to be assigned an exalted place in the rituals of the time.

No religious ceremony was deemed complete without it; no act of religious devotion was considered fruitful unless accompanied by it. The charity was sought to be inculcated as the cardinal virtue, through which all could be atoned for and which held the key to the highest heaven.”[23]


According to Dr. Manoj Shah, Dr. Chandaria will leave behind “ a legacy  of being a Nation Builder.”  

While former fellow local Billionaire Mr.Naushad Merali  through his personal assistant Jane Wokabi told  your correspondent  Dr. Chandaria is a “ great philanthropist, very committed to what he does and loves his country .” 

 And award-winning Jyoti Mukherjee said, “ He will always pass as an international citizen. For he’s an Indian staying in Africa, receiving awards from the Queen of England and the President of India, having businesses all around the world, and contributing towards the growth of African industries, education, government reforms, and charity. But overall, he’s an ideal human being. Such people don’t leave a legacy. They live by example for eternity.”

















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Corporate World

Safaricom Replaces Former President Kenyatta’s ally as Board Chairman.



Lawyer Adil Khawaja has been appointed chair of the board of Safaricom. FILE PHOTO | POOL
Lawyer Adil Khawaja has been appointed chair of the board of Safaricom. FILE PHOTO | POOL

On Jan 26 Adil Khawaja  was appointed Board Chairman of Safaricom replacing John Ngumi who reportedly resigned  after a sojourn of five months on the job to focus on sustainable energy projects in Africa, with a particular interest in hydrogen power.

But close telco watchers are convinced Ngumi’s goose was cooked soon after the swearing-in of William Ruto as Kenya’s fifth President, understandably because of his perceived coziness with the outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta who brazenly campaigned for Raila Odinga in the Presidential sweepstakes.

In other words, the 66-year-old local corporate dealmaker was reduced to collateral damage with his exit seen as imminent.

With a November 3  business story in the  local  People Daily newspaper for example running a  forbidding  business story titled Ngumi’s absence at Safaricom events raises eyebrows when the daily which is associated with Kenyatta writes that “Insiders at the telco believe Ngumi’s appointment as the next Safaricom’s chairman may have been flagged for political reasons and as a result, there is a growing conviction in some quarters that his appointment could be rescinded.”

The paper somewhat must have taken a cue from an Oct 28 Twitter handle belonging to outspoken lawyer Ahmed Nassir who partially commented that ​​“ The blue-eyed boy of the Uhuru regime is persona non grata in the Ruto  Administration…that is life!

Since coming into power on September 13  the Ruto administration has made notable appointments in State parastatals, purging allies of former President Kenyatta.


Notable changes have taken place so far in nine strategic public utilities including the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA), Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco)Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC),  Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), National Council for Population and Development (NCPD), National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), and Kenya Pipeline Company Limited (KPCL )

Globally, concerns regarding protecting officials from political manipulation by new political

rulers are as old as the hills but the push for change at the top remains a nagging constant.

“ Parties in power may have different policy priorities to those leaving office, which bureaucrats

may not share. In addition, the new leaders may not trust nor know about the competence of bureaucrats who served under previous regimes. They may think that bureaucrats appointed by the previous set of incumbent politicians do not share the values of the current administration, which in turn may make them less likely to implement their preferences,” says Prof. Peter John of King’s College London.


Khawaja currently serves on various boards which include the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust, Al Futtaim Automotive-CMC Motors Group Ltd, and Atua Enkop Africa Ltd, and has previously served on boards of other Kenyan firms, including  KCB Bank Group, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, and as a Trustee of KWS.

According to the CEO of Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator and the most profitable company in East Africa Peter Ndegwa, Khawaja is expected to help lead  Safaricom, and scale up operations in neighbouring Ethiopia after the launch of its network last year.

Ndegwa’s tenure at this lucrative company in the meantime collapses this March 2023, having made history on April 1 2020 when he became the first Kenyan CEO  but he remains confident the Telco’s Board will renew his contract because of his “very successful three years”.

 “Decisions about my future at Safaricom are made by the Board of Directors. I, however, know that the [business] strategy is clear, and the management is focused on ensuring that Safaricom continues to transform lives and play its role in Kenya,” Ndegwa said on Local Citizen TV’s News Night show this January.

Currently, the Government of Kenya including Vodacom has a combined 70 % stake – each claiming a 35 % apiece – making the duo a  linchpin in deciding Ndegwa’s fate – with the Vodafone Group Plc owning  5% and the remaining  25% identified as a free float.



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Corporate World

Biggest East African Fund Manager Sees $5 Billion Assets in 2023




David Malingha


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