KPC boss Macharia Irungu kicked out as board blocks new term

Macharia Irungu,

Dr Macharia Irungu, the Kenya Pipeline Company managing director. His tenure has ended after the KPC board declined to renew his contract. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The board of the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has declined to renew the contract of the current Managing Director Macharia Irungu, ending his three-year tenure at the state corporation.

The board, in a letter to Dr Irungu, says that the three-year contract that he signed on December 2, 2019 has been terminated because he did not express interest in extending or renewing it.

Dr Irungu took over at KPC in January 2020, replacing Mr Hudson Andambi who had served as the acting Managing Director since December 2018 following the arrest of former MD Joe Sang and other top managers on allegations of corruption.

“There was no expression of interest on your part to have the contract extended or renewed despite an invitation by the board to do so vide the letter dated December 9, 2022 written to you by the board chairperson. Your term lapsed on January 1, 2023 and you are no longer an employee of Kenya Pipeline Company Limited,” said recently appointed KPC board chairperson Faith Bett Boinett in a letter dated January 13, 2023.

But interestingly, the Sunday Nation established that the former board led by then chairperson Rita Okuthe had extended Dr Irungu’s contract in August 2021.

In a separate letter to the Managing Director, Ms Okuthe wrote that Dr Irungu’s term had been adjusted to five years renewable subject to performance, mandatory retirement age and the guidelines governing the appointment of accounting officers to the state corporations. This means that, according to the former board chair’s letter, Dr Irungu was supposed to continue serving.

Prior to his appointment, Dr Irungu was the Managing Director at Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation. He has nearly three decades of experience in the sector and has also served as a commissioner of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

Dr Irungu took over after a rough year characterised by leadership wrangles that saw several middle-level staff forced to take up acting roles following the arrest of senior managers over the alleged loss of public funds.