Catherine Mturi-Wairi is the 13th person to serve as managing director, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). She takes over from Mr Gichiri Ndua who was sacked in February. She has worked at the parastatal for the last 23 years having started out as a junior accountant in 1993.
Being a certified accountant with an MBA and BSc Finance from United States International University, Africa, she played a big role in ensuring that the state run agency moved from its past shaky financial position to the robust and healthy institution it is today. The ability of the certified accountant to innovate and lead was seen after she supervised the successful implementation of Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM) and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) that were aimed at helping reduce the time it took for documents to be processed. This enabled not only suppliers but also customers to transact with KPA on a self-service basis through a web portal.
In addition, the experience of being a leader and a part of KPA for a long period of time is an added advantage that points to her ability to succeed as managing director for the three year period she’s been appointed. Ms Wairi also sits on the board of directors of Sidian Bank and chairs its Audit and Risk Committee. She is a member of the Institute of Directors of Kenya, Institute of the Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya and Kenya Institute of Management. She is also a member of the Women in Marine Sector in East and Southern Africa. Whether she will wither the storm, of corruption and in-fighting that comes with such high offices, remains to be seen.