Ruto man Joe Sang returns to Kenya Pipeline as acting MD

Former Kenya Pipeline Company md Joe Sang. 

Former Kenya Pipeline Company Managing Director Joe Sang. His fresh appointment takes effect immediately. 

Photo credit: Nation Media Group

The board of Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has appointed Joe Sang as the acting managing director of the state corporation, returning him to the position after he was cleared of alleged corruption charges last month.

The appointment takes effect immediately and has seen him take over from Dr Macharia Irungu whose contract the board declined to renew last week, ending his three-year tenure at the state corporation.

“Mr Joe Sang has taken over at Kenya Pipeline Company as the managing director,” a source at the board privy to the details told the Business Daily.

“The board is ready to accord him the necessary support he needs to push the KPC back to the good golden days when the financial performance of the company was at its highest peak ever with staff morale at its best.”

Mr Sang and other senior managers of KPC were arrested on December 7, 2018, and charged with implementing the Kisumu oil jetty project which cost taxpayers an alleged loss of Sh1.9 billion.

The court ruled last month that no funds were lost and that the project was well-planned. Mr Sang is among allies of President William Ruto who have seen their court cases withdrawn or quashed in the weeks following the establishment of the new administration.

The individuals have said that they were victims of a witch-hunt by the former government which was opposed to the candidature of Mr Ruto in the years leading to the general election held in August last year.

Mr Sang’s appointment also continues the trend where Mr Ruto’s allies are rewarded with State appointments while those linked with the former regime are pressured to resign.

Mr John Ngumi, who also previously chaired KPC, recently resigned as chairman of Safaricom Plc.

KPC is one of the largest and most important State-owned firms, building and maintaining infrastructure including pipelines for supplying the country with petroleum products.

Mr Sang was first appointed the managing director of KPC towards the end of April 2016.

But his tenure was cut short after he was forced to resign in December 2018 under what he terms as immense pressure from the then board of directors led by Mr Ngumi.

KPC posted a net profit of Sh1.6 billion in the year ended June 2021, falling from Sh3.9 billion the year before.

The company had made a net income of Sh2 billion in the year ended June 2019 which marked a sharp decline from Sh8.5 billion the previous year.

Dr Irungu took over at KPC in January 2020, replacing Mr Hudson Andambi who had served as the acting MD since December 2018 following the arrest of Mr Sang.

Mr Sang holds an MBA from the University of Nairobi & CPA (K) with extensive international training in governance and leadership in Energy, among other fields.

He has previously worked at National Oil, Unga Group, East African Breweries Plc (EABL) and KPC.