Bob Collymore, Mercy Oburu get parastatal jobs

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Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore is among four people appointed on Wednesday as members of the National Cancer Institute board.

This is according to a Gazette notice of May 6 by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

Also appointed to the board are Kenya Network of Cancer Organisations (KENCO) chairperson David Makumi and Mercy Oburu, the Digital Content Manager at Royal Media Services, which owns Citizen TV and a number of radio stations.

The notice stated, “In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 6 (2) of the Cancer Prevention and Control Act (2012), the Cabinet Secretary appoints David Makumi, Mercy Oburu, Bob Collymore and Evangeline Njiru.”

Appointees to the institute will serve for the next three years.

Mr Collymore, the British boss of the East and Central Africa region’s biggest telco services provider, took nine months off in 2017 to return to England for cancer treatment.

According to a source who spoke with Reuters, Mr Collymore “wants to concentrate on his health so he did not wish to renew his contract”.

So far, the government’s insistence that a Kenyan take his place has delayed the announcement of his successor.

Safaricom board chairman Nicholas Nganga earlier said the board had not made a decision on the matter.

“This will be subject of deliberation by the board and once a decision is made it will be communicated at the appropriate time,” Nganga said in a statement.

Mr Makumi has been in the forefront of articulating the plight and concerns of Kenyans living with cancer for over a decade.

Ms Oburu, a cancer survivor, is member of the board of the Africa Cancer Foundation. She previously served as Editor in Chief at RMS.

Ms Njiru is a physician, oncologist and lecturer at Moi University.

The National Cancer Institute is a corporate body established under the Cancer Control Act, which serves as the coordinating body for all cancer control activities in Kenya.

Its main mandate is to “advise the Cabinet Secretary of Health on the overall priorities that should be accorded to cancer prevention and control in Kenya”.

According to its website, “the main activities include general oversight, coordination of all activities, advocacy and awareness creation, cancer registration and coordinating cancer research”.

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