Kikuyu factor in energy sector

Kikuyu factor in energy sector


The arrests at Kenya Power were well designed to have a Kikuyu land the lucrative position of the managing director and chief executive officer.

The idea was to have Mount Kenya mafia control the entire lucrative energy sector parastatals.

The system is simple, have those in charge linked in mega scandals in their respective parastatals they head, take them to court, have someone who is not Kikuyu in acting position but eventually have a Kikuyu land the plum slot.

At Kenya Power, Ken Tarus, a Kalenjin who was seen to be close to Energy cabinet secretary Charles Keter together with top managers were arrested and arraigned in court on matters relating to procurement.

Surprisingly, Bernard Ngugi, the newly appointed CEO, was then the procurement manager. Information we have is that Ngugi was deeply involved in KP multi-million scandals. He was the face behind controversial purchase of transformers supplied by the family of tycoon James Mwangi.

Ngugi is said to enjoy protection of Energy PS Joseph Njoroge. During the arrests, Ngugi despite having overseen the controversial procurement process was not arrested.

In fact during the arrest period that hounded Tarus out of office leaving Jared Othieno, a Luo acting, deals were brokered to have Ngugi named the CEO.

Ngugi apart from Tarus, was also a procurement officer under the tenure of Ben Chumo.

During the MD’s interviews, Othieno, Ngugi, Mary Kibugi (formerly with Philips East Africa), Eric Odipo (Multichoice Kenya director) and Simon Ngigi (ex-Sameer MD) together with John Mudany (Kengen finance office) and Alfred Matheka (KR director) were on the list.

Othieno, due to handshake deal, was being favoured by CS Keter who had appointed him in acting capacity. Ngugi was last in the rating that had Othieno, Kibugi, Odipo and Ngugi.

It is said Mount Kenya Mafia sidestepped Keter to have Ngugi in the position of CEO. During his appointment, Keter and Othieno were nowhere to be seen.

We have information that ever since he was named as CEO, Ngugi has been holding meetings with Chinese deeply involved in energy sector supplies to cut deals.

For now, word has it that Ngugi is out to install his allies in key management positions many who happen to hold in acting capacity. Those currently acting are Imeid Bore (general manager, corporate), Wilson Osoro (general manager, internal audit) David Mohadi (manager, human resource), Aggrey Machasio (manager Information and Technology), Thagichu Kiru (general manager, business, Charles Cheruiyot (general manager, finance) and David Mwaniki (general manager, networking).

Only Jeremiah Kiplagat, director Institute of Energy Studies is safe. In fact Cheruiyot, the finance man is already at loggerheads with Ngugi just like is Machasio. Ngugi openly boasts to report directly to State House and is untouchable since the Kenyatta family was behind his appointment courtesy of PS Njoroge. Kenyatta family has substantial shares in Kenya Power.

From Kenya Power, we move to Kenya Pipeline Company. MD Joe Sang was removed and arrested and we had Hudson Andambi, a Luhya appointed acting MD after arrest of Sang.

Interviews were held and later the MD’s position was advertised again. Weekly Citizen has information that Irungu Macharia did not have clearance certificates from Ethic Anti-Corruption Commission and was knocked out. The re-advertisement was meant to favour him get the EACC and that of the Directorate of criminal Investigations that has now helped him land the position, a matter that is likely to head to the courts.

KPA chairman John Ngumi

However, it is said KPC chairman John Ngumi forced for fresh interviews against other board members.

As things stand, all lucrative energy parastatals are in hands of Kikuyu CEOs. At Geothermal Development Company, the CEO Johnson Ole Nchoe is a marked man as the board is out to have him to be replaced by a Kikuyu.

Early in April, Ole Nchoe’s bid to bag three more years at the company ran into the headwinds after the GDC board returned a No verdict, in response to his letter written late last year, also copied to Energy CS Keter, proposing to stay on for another three years.

But later in February this year, then Gershom Otachi-led board held a special meeting in which they not only rebuffed his entreaties but also did it in writing, stating the board’s resolve to recommend to the CS against the renewal of Nchoe’s term.

This came at a time when GDC, a fully government-owned special purpose vehicle tasked with developing steam fields and selling geothermal steam for electricity generation to KenGen and to private investors, was reeling with possible loss of billions of shillings in geothermal well projects, including the Sh1.4 million loss to a Chinese firm.