Kenic has a new CEO….. 7th in 7 years…

Abdalla Omari is the new Kenic CEO.  At this point I will stop counting coz it means the annual tradition of the board is; lets get a new CEO.

Usually, when people join new organisations, they are asked what they will do to improve the status of the organisation. I imagined these are some of the questions Omari had to answer.

I know I ask some annoying questions that at times people choose to ignore, like the immediate former CEO did. So I just copy pasted the questions, which mainly dealt with growing the registry, stability and resilience.

He gave me one of those answers you give when you want to put people off, like when they bother you too much. Here is the response;

“We are currently in the process of reviewing our Strategic plan. The Strategic Plan review will capture the intended strategies on marketing and price sensitivity challenges which you have raised. The moment the SP document is finalized, we will publish it on our website for all the stake holders to read.
I have studied our Technical report on downtime, and seen the latest downtime was in August 2014, after a period of over one year (that is Sept 2013). We are finalizing the process of setting up 3 redundant sites to address any future challenge of the same. This project should be complete in the next 2 weeks.”

Either the guy has no idea. I don’t get how the review of a strategic plan has anything to do with your leadership skills of steering a registry. How will you help that plan if you have no experience in running registry operations? I get it, I am told you don’t need to understand how to run a registry to make it efficient and sustainable; apparently even a farmer can run a ccTLD.

So, who is Abdalla Omari? Here is the CV….


–       M.B.A- Maseno University

–       Bachelors In Management and Leadership- University of Free State, South Africa

–       C.P.A part three

–       Currently pursuing a PhD in Business Management


I have been a General Manager for Avtech Systems Ltd, for around 5 years, before joining KENIC. Avtech Systems Ltd (, is an ICT based organization which specializes in Electronic Security, Video Conferencing facility set up, Broadcasting Station setup, and audio vision solutions.

During my tenure at Avtech Systems, the organization was among the Top100 finalists competition, for a straight 3 years. KPMG consultants and Nation Media group moderate this competition. In the Top 100 competition of 2012, Avtech System was number one, in the ICT category.

I have also been a Finance Manager for a manufacturing industry called Dimensional Structures Ltd, and a senior accountant for a leading travel organization called, Charleston Travel Limited/fcmtravel (

My experienced is wide from Management/leadership, accounting, finance and auditing”

And the story continues…

Kenic has a new CEO

Kenic, the organisation tasked with managing the .ke domain, has a new CEO. Who may or may not know anything about heading a registry and how to make .ke more stable and resilient. For background on Kenic, you can read more here.

Emma Marube has the difficult task of heading the troubled organisation, as the Communications Authority ponders whether to privatise the entity or retain the multistakeholder model but offer competition on the second level. For example, if someone wanted to provide registry services, it may offer competition to but at the same time muddle the waters.

We all wish the registry well and we hope that it will be more secure. Most people stopped complaining about perennial outages because…..what will you do? Accept and move on….

I asked for a bio, just to know more about her….. and this is what I got.

“Our acting CEO is Mrs. Emma Bokea Marube. Prior to the appointment, she has been KeNIC’s Finance and Planning Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Business Management (Finance and Banking) and CPA. (K) Emma has also headed Finance and Accounting in several organisations.”
I followed it up with questions on what she had in store for us and how she is planning to steer the registry to prestige and envy that it once enjoyed in Africa ICT circles.
I got no response.
So we can assume that the new CEO knows or doesn’t know what she is doing. Kenic board has the reputation of hiring people who have no clue about running a registry, so I wasn’t exactly surprised when I got no comment.
We can also assume that she is moonlighting….. if this bio on this site is to be believed.
Moving on…..
The registry now has 76 registrars, holding domains from 27 as the lowest to 4186 currently held by Safaricom and 4788 held by EAC Directory. The desire for lower costs has seen Safaricom selling the domain at sh 500, which includes hosting. Others are selling the domain for as high as sh 3000 per year.

Update: Kenic AGM set for Friday 24th Aug. at Panafric

Kenic has set its Annual General Meeting for Friday this week, to rubber stamp the board’s decision to fire all employees and start afresh.

Contrary to past practices where the AGM comprised of registrars, government, internet businesses and basically anyone interested in domain issues, this one will be a closed door session, open only to parties that play nice and don’t ask questions.

The meeting comes after a stormy two months for the .ke country code Top Level Domain registry, where board members have left and a change manager appointed to run the affairs.

Kenic was constituted as a multi-stakeholder body, where all parties concerned with the critical internet infrastructure would have equal say. Maybe the idea of .ke being critical doesnt sink in but can you imagine if failed to work for a day because someone deleted it by mistake or deliberately? No filing of returns, clearing and forwarding services and all other services that we enjoy at the click of a mouse.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry of information and communication, Bitange Ndemo says he was blindsided by Kenic board’s decision to fire all staff but more facts will emerge after the AGM.

I wonder whether there will be security guards to keep other people from attending 🙂

Technical services handed to TESPOK

When the cracks at Kenic started emerging, TESPOK tabled its proposal to run technical services for Kenic. Indeed, immediately Kris Senanu took over as TESPOK representative on the board, his first order of business was to address the proposal. Details are contained in my previous post.

In retrospect, TESPOK must have foreseen that at some point, Kenic will come to such a position and TESPOK expertise will be needed. That is what happened. After the technical staff were let go, they were asked to send passwords to TESPOK, who are now in charge of technical functions at Kenic.

This was expected because its not like any other aspect of tech. That part of the resource is scarce. I am not sure there are many techies who you can call one morning and say, “hey, come in this morning and run the registry, deletions are this time, DNS updates that time,” and the person will hit the ground running. I may be wrong but they may need experience in such settings.

I guess much of the details on who handles the technical functions, whether the open multistakeholder model continues and leadership direction will come out after the AGM.