The Public Service Commission (PSC) has announced the shortlist for the candidates for the position of Data Commissioner. This is in compliance with the provision of section 6(2) of the Data Protection Act,2019.

The Commission had invited Kenyans to re-apply to the position of Data Commissioner after the first shortlist was scrapped off by a Nairobi Court, for not following procedure. This exercise attracted 126 applications. Following the conclusion of the shortlisting exercise, the commission published names and interview schedules of the shortlisted candidates is slotted for 21-22nd September 2020 and is calling for the public to comment on any of the candidates. They include:

  1. John Walubengo Nyongesa, OCW
  2. Thomas Oganga Odhiambo
  3. Immaculate Kassait, MBS
  4. Brian Gichana Omwenga
  5. Anthony Akelo Okulo
  6. Dr Kennedy Okong’o PhD
  7. Murshid Abdalla Mohamed
  8. Dr Mwalili Tobias Mbithi
  9. Michael Gatu Mbuthia
  10. Rose Mambo
  11. Margaret Makhungu Mukoba
  12. Mariam Ndumi Mwonge

The following names that were in the previous list are missing on this new list:

  1. Prof David Gichoya
  2. Mercy Kiiru Wanjau

There are also some new entrances who were not in the previous list, as below:

  1. Michael Gatu Mbuthia
  2. Rose Mambo
  3. Margaret Makhungu Mukoba
  4. Mariam Ndumi Mwonge

The PSC had earlier advertised for the position of Data Commissioner on 25 March 2020. After this, the commission announced the shortlist for the candidates for the position of Data Commissioner, and the shortlisted candidates were slated to be interviewed on 7th July 2020.

The interview process was however stopped by the labour court. Justice Hellen Wasilwa put on hold the interviews following an application by a lawyer Adrian Kamotho, who claimed that the recruitment process was irregular for breaching timeliness and mandatory procedures. The shortlist was then nullified, with the court ordering the PSC to start the recruitment process afresh.

The office of the Data protection commissioner was established by section 5 of the Data Protection Bill, 2019 which was signed into law on 8th November 2019. The Act provides for the establishment of the office of the data commissioner, a body which will be responsible for the protection of Kenyans’ personal data by both the public and private entities. The Act gives effect to article 31 of the Kenyan Constitution, which guarantees every Kenyan the Right to Privacy.