There was a fight at Kenya Pipeline and yesterday (2 January) after acting Kisumu Kenya Pipeline depot manager John Chege refused to obey orders by the Principal Secretary Petroleum Andrew Kamau.
Mr Kamau called John Chege and ordered the Depot Manager to quickly load fuel onto Kenya Railways wagons as President Uhuru Kenyatta was reportedly planning to visit the depot and inspect the wagons loaded with fuel. The order didn’t make much sense to the junior officer who sought clarification from his immediate boss, General Manager Operations and Maintenance, Joshua Mutea.
Mr Mutea informed John Chege that he was not aware of such an order and any loading would require details of clients of such a consignment as it would be irresponsible to load wagons without clear knowledge of the destination and consignee of such a package. So Joshua Mutea advised John Chege not to comply.
Meanwhile, Joshua Mutea also called his immediate boss and Acting MD Kenya Pipeline, Hudson Andambi, who was also not aware of such an order.
Before the call between GM Joshua Mutea and MD, Hudson Adambi was over, the acting MD received a call from acting MD at Kenya Railways Julius Muia who told him to immediately load the consignment onto wagons, an order the MD advised would not be ok as it is coming from an acting MD in a different state firm. Sensing indirect orders from powerful quarters, the acting MD KPC demanded a written order from Kenya Railways (Julius Muia) and PS Petroleum (Andrew Kamau), something the duo was not willing to do.
It’s not clear if the shipment was finally approved by President Uhuru didn’t fly to Kisumu as promised while Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma posted on twitter celebrating the “success.”
1/3..I was witness to history today as MV Uhuru hooted back into Port Kisumu after delivering
22 wagons full of petroleum products to Port Bell Uganda, in a journey of under 12 hours. pic.twitter.com/ux7Q6HQYYr
— Amb. Monica Juma (@Diplomacy_Kenya) December 22, 2019
With Uganda still lacking a functioning fuel Jetty, it’s not clear where the said shipment was taken as even Tanzania doesn’t have the same on Lake Victoria. KPC’s construction of the Kisumu Oil Jetty has been marred in scandals.
Kenyans have been asking for the destination and consignee of the oil shipment from Lokichar, something which the Ministry of Petroleum and Tullow Oil have refused to avail details requested by taxpayers.
Sources at KPa have indicated to me that the recent shipment on Lake Victoria is said to have been taken to Port Bell in Uganda then transported by rail to Jinja. The consignee for the shipment is not clear.
The matter died down until Thursday 2 January when KPC Chairman John Ngumi stormed the office of the MD and demanded that he resigns from the post as he was willing to bring “my Irungu who can obey orders by the bosses.” Hudson Andambi reminded John Ngumi that there exists a court order maintaining the status quo until a case lodged by activist Okiya Omtatah is heard and determined.
With the egg on his face, John Ngumi stormed off the office promising to personally come to the KPC on Monday 7th January to evict the acting MD.
With recently sponsored stories by John Ngumi on Daily Nation trying to portray the theft as a one community affair so as to plant a new MD from Mount Kenya region, it’s not lost to observers that the loading of wagons and subsequent fight over which orders to obey or disobey might be a cover to push the new recruitment without due process.
Meanwhile, President Uhuru has blocked KPA staff in Kisumu and contractors from speaking to the media over the rehabilitation of the port. While media has speculated that billions have been used in the exercise, our sources at KPA HQ have indicated that the money released for the upgrade has not been more than Ksh 500 million (first phase) with at least Ksh 2.5 billion expected for the second phase which is to commence immediately after launch of the port by the East African Presidents.
Also expected is the rehabilitation of the feeder ports on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria.