Ministry fights NOCK board as CS reverses appointment of interim chief executive

James Nyamongo may hold the record for the shortest stint as chief executive of a major firm in Kenya. He has been bundled out of office barely a week after being appointed the interim boss at the National Oil Corporation of Kenya.

Mr Nyamongo, who was named acting chief executive by the board on October 9, was Friday replaced by George Kubai, a NOCK insider who has been the General Manager Downstream Operations.

Nyamongo is expected to resume duties at the Kenya Pipeline Company where had been the acting Manager, Facilities and Right of Way manager.

The appointment of Kubai was made by John Munyes, CS for Petroleum and Mining. This is unlike the announcement of Nyamongo that was made by the board. It may point to a rift between the CS and the board, where some senior officials at Munyes’ ministry are also directors.

"I believe his appointment in acting capacity will allow a seamless transition to the time when a substantive CEO is duly recruited according to the law in place,” said Munyes in a statement yesterday.

An insider at NOCK told The Standard that the appointment of Nyamongo had been done without Munyes' knowledge, who came to find out after a press release had been sent out.

Andrew Kamau, Petroleum Principal Secretary, however, said the appointment of Kubai came after further deliberations by the board. He said the directors decided that the transition would be better if an insider was placed at the helm of the corporation.

"He was only holding brief; it was not a permanent appointment. He was from KPC but now they have decided that it is better to have an internal person,” Kamau said.

The appointment of an acting CEO follows the exit of MaryJane Mwangi, who on October 9 informed the board of her decision not to seek another term in office. She had been appointed CEO of the state-run oil firm in August 2017 for a three-year term.

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