President William Ruto has designated Charles Owino, the former National Police Service (NPS) Spokesperson, as the new Chairperson of the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) Council. This move, as per a gazette notice issued on September 27, entails the removal of Kathleen Openda, a former journalist, who was previously appointed to the position for a three-year term in October 2021.
According to the notice, Owino, who once aspired to be the governor of Siaya County, will hold the position for only one year.
The notice stated, “In accordance with the authority vested in me by section 7 (3) of the State Corporations Act, I, William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, appoint Charles Owino Wahong’o as the Chairperson of the Council to the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, effective from September 29, 2023, until October 5, 2024.”
It further mentioned, “The appointment of Kathleen Openda is revoked.”
During the 2022 elections, Owino initially declared his intention to run for the position of Siaya County Governor but later withdrew from the race to become the running mate of former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo. However, he eventually withdrew from the race altogether, allowing Gumbo to choose former journalist David Ohito as his new running mate.
Subsequently, following the presidential election victory of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leader William Ruto, Owino was appointed as the party’s Siaya County Coordinator. Cleophas Malala, UDA’s Secretary General, confirmed this in a statement issued in July, noting that Owino would replace Dianga Waore, who had been appointed as the Chairman of the Lake Region Development Authority by the Kenya Kwanza government.