The board of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) has appointed in acting capacity MaryJane Mwangi General Manager, Downstream Operations as the new CEO after Sumayya Athmani was sent on compulsory leave.
No reason was given for her suspension although her suspension follows another high profile suspension of the managing director of the Kenya Pipeline Corporation Flora Okoth who was also replaced by General Manager Joel Sang.
The changes follow the appointment of a new cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Charles Keter where both parastatals fall.
The suspension of Sumayya will auger well with lobbyist including the consumers federation of Kenya COFEK which had opposed her new term extension even calling for the firing of the board chairman.
COFEK has been in loggerheads with Sumayya particularly following the award by NOCK to grant Western Geco exclusive rights to acquire any data over any offshore acreage exlusive permits the lobby group argues are usually granted by the Minister for Energy and not NOCK
NOCK also granted Western Geco the right to store any existing data with COFEK arguing any existing data belongs to the government of Kenya and if NOCK allows Western Geco to host any such existing data especially where there are active PSCs the confidentiality of the data will be at risk.
According to COFEK the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) had also failed to stabilize fuel prices, occasioned high food and transport costs hence higher inflation.
Her biggest blow was however the recommendation for prosecution for abuse of office by the Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission.
Sumayya has been at the helm of the National Oil Corporation since 2010 replacing Mwendia Nyaga as CEO.