KENYA – Esther Ngari has been appointed to steer the country’s standards watchdog, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) as its Managing Director, following a heated court battle that saw the previous head ousted.
Ms. Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade & Enterprise Development appointed Ms. Ngari, who has been the institution’s Director of Standards and Trade, to assume the position in an Acting capacity over a 6-month period.
“I hereby appoint you as the Acting Managing Director to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) with effect from 27th July 2022 for a period of 6 months or until the Court of Appeal determines or stays the judgement of the High Court, whichever is earlier,” read part of the letter.
The CS decision was communicated through Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. David Osiany, who has been in charge of the affairs of the Ministry in the absence of the CS who is away in Ghana on government duty.
Ms. Ngari takes over from Col (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini whose term came to an abrupt end following a court ruling that dismissed his previous appointment as being irregular.
Justice Maureen Onyango of the Employment and Labour Relations Court quashed the appointment of Mr. Njiraini, stating that he was handpicked contrary to the law, yet the process should be open to public participation.
As such, Ms. Ngari’s appointment was subsequent to recommendations made by the Bureaus policy-making body, National Standards Council (NSC), which submitted names to the CS for consideration for the role.
According to KEBS, Ms. Ngari has been lauded for her exemplary work in creating new standards that were previously non-existent in the country.
She becomes the second female to head the standards assurance agency following in the footsteps of Eva Oduor who held the post back in 2012.
Eva had emerged the best out of the over 70 candidates interested in the position, in an appointment that ended a two-year search of a person to head the standards agency.
“Wishing her well as she takes over the task of leading the institution, especially in aligning with President’s Big 4 Agenda pillar of Manufacturing,” CAS Osiany said after administering the appointment.