Succession war erupts at TSC as Macharia is set to leave office next year    

Dr Nancy Macharia, TSC CEO, who is set for retirement next year.

A serious succession war has erupted at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) as Dr Nancy Njeri Macharia, the commission Secretary and chief executive (CEO), prepares to leave office next year.

An insider at the commission who spoke to Education News in confidence indicated that Dr Macharia will proceed for terminal leave in March next year pending her official retirement in June, paving way for a succession battle.

As a result, vicious lobbying has taken centre stage, with politicians bidding for different personalities to take over at the helm of the largest employer in East and Central Africa, which has a workforce of nearly 500,000 across basic learning institutions and Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs).

Among those being touted to take over include two senior directors who control critical dockets and a host of other former teachers working elsewhere, and an influential KESSHA (Kenya Secondary School Heads Association) chairman serving in one of the counties.

A senior Ministry of Education (MoE) official based in Jogoo House has also featured prominently as one of those to be considered for the job, which comes with significant clout.

The name of one of the CEOs heading one of the Semi-Autonomous Government Agency (SAGA) has also been bandied around and backed by most senior figures at Jogoo House owing to his impressive resume.

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia and Chairman Jamleck Muturi cut a cake at a past function. Things are hotting up as power play kicks up in the battle to succeed her at the helm of TSC.

Education News has learnt that several politicians and professionals are silently reaching out to some power barons in government to consider their candidature.

One female candidate has also emerged and this is being pushed by some parliamentarians who are keen to have the gender equation played out in senior government appointments.

This position has divided opinion within government circles to the extent that the matter has taken an ethnic angle.

There was confusion last year as to whether Dr Macharia was to leave office upon attaining the mandatory retirement age or upon expiry of her contract, with the commission Director of Legal, Labour and Industrial Relations Cavin Anyuor clarifying that she is a State officer as defined by law and not subject to the retirement rule. The TSC boss then had attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.

Anyuor noted that Dr Macharia would serve her full term of 10 years, which will end in 2025 as stated by the TSC Act and the Constitution, quoting TSC Act of 2012 Section 16 (3) which defines the commission Secretary/CEO as a State officer. He went further to quote the Constitution Article 260, which defines who a State officer is.

According to a brief biography found in Kenya National Examination Council’s (KNEC) website, Dr Macharia was born in 1963 and she has worked in the education sector for more than 28 years.

Dr Macharia rose to the helm of TSC through a competitive recruitment process in May 2015, taking over from Gabriel Lengoiboni who retired on June 30, 2015. That time, she was pitted against more than 60 applicants from which pool four were shortlisted. Lengoiboni had held the position for 11 years.

Since 2015, when she was appointed and later her term renewed in June 2020 for a further 5 years despite opposition from stakeholders and educationists, her leadership style has seen formulation of tough policies in an effort to streamline the teaching profession and service provision.

Apart from her doctorate degree, Dr Macharia holds a Master of Education (Policy and Management) degree from Bristol University, UK, and a Bachelor of Education degree in English/Literature from Kenyatta University. She also trained both locally and internationally in Corporate Governance, Public Procurement, Policy Formation, Information Communication Technology (ICT), and Proactive Management and Business Excellence Models, among others.

She is a member of the Kenya Association of Public Administration Management (KAPAM) and Institute of Directors.

By our reporter

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