EXCLUSIVE: Why Kenya Pipeline CEO job was re-advertised

Just over a month after the expiry of the application period and despite having more than 100 applicants show interest to become managing director of Kenya Pipeline, the position was readvertised, the board saying applicants had failed to meet the minimum requirements.

While the board of directors, chaired by John Ngumi, said they had not found “an adequate number of qualified candidates to proceed to the next stage of interviews”; Kurunzi News has credible information that boardroom wars among members of the board led to the readvertisement.

A source has told Kurunzi News how the board is split, a section of members pushing to proceed with interviews for the three shortlisted applicants and another group – led by the chairman – calling for fresh applications. The latter faction had its way, the source saying Mr Ngumi had forced his way “for personal reasons”.

Kurunzi has established around 147 application so we’re received and “upon sieving through” only three were shortlisted, including the current acting boss – Hudson Adambi, but “the chairman seemingly has someone in mind”.

The chairman is said to have insisted on starting the process afresh against majority members who wanted to interview the three “but he wants his person given the chance to apply because maybe he had not”.

“There is no reason the process is starting again when you have three people qualified. The only reason is if we found issues with their suitability but not to cancel the process,” said the source.

Competing and tribal interests are now at the heart of the saga, the chairman being left alone on the matter; the rest of the board members insisting the process must go on.

The new advertisement, published in the papers on Tuesday, has also been a subject of debate on social media.

Trending as #DrainKenyaPipeline, Kenyans on Twitter castigated the move by the board saying those who had applied deserved the chance to be interviewed.

The energy committee of the National Assembly is contemplating summoning the board members to explain why the position has been advertised afresh. A member of the Ndiritu Gikaria-led committee told Kurunzi News they had asked “the chair to urgently summon the board”.

Legislators have expressed concern over how the process to replace Joe Sang, who is facing corruption and abuse of office charges, is being handled and the issue has become political.

Western leaders maintain Adambi should be confirmed for the position “based on how he has performed since being appointed in acting capacity” in 2018.

It is believed the chairman prefers to have a Kikuyu take over and forced through the cancellation after it emerged that other than (Luhya), the shortlist has a Kikuyu and a Kalenjin.

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