Polycarp Igathe was the name on everyone’s lips this week after fake reports emerged indicating that he was set to take over as CEO of Rubis Energy Kenya following the reported deportation of Jean-Christian Bergeron to France.
Importantly, Rubis denied the State’s stance that Bergeron was deported. The company maintains that Bergeron traveled to France to brief the Head Office on the fuel crisìs in Kenya. It also sought to distance itself from allegatíons of hoárding.
“The gap in the supply of fuel has been triggered by various factors but one of the least publicised is the spike in local demand over the last three months evidenced by our daily retail sales,” Rubis noted.
Igathe is currently the Chief Commercial Officer at Equity Group Holdings Limited.
Nation Media Group (NMG)-owned NTV also confirmed that a widely circulated image featuring a news-bite on Igathe’s appointment was fake. In a pointer to the impact misinformation has, countless Kenyans had already rushed to their social media accounts to share diverse opinions on Igathe’s career and the supposed ‘appointment’.
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Bergeron was on the spot for allegedly overseeing the hoarding of fuel while several other major oil marketing firms are also facing investigations and penalties including reductions of their import allocations. The country has been grappling with the worst fuel shortage in a decade, while the government and oil marketing firms tussle over unpaid subsidies and alleged hoarding.
Igathe has loads of experience in the oil sector and previously served as MD of Vivo Energy Kenya between 2013 and 2017. He then jumped into politics and was elected Deputy Governor of Nairobi, with Mike Sonko as Governor – but ended up resigning less than a year into the job amid reports of an untenable working relationship between the two.
He soon found himself back in the corporate world, joining Equity Bank as Chief Commercial Officer in 2018. He returned to Vivo as EVP in 2019.
Prior to his initial stint at Vivo in 2013, he had worked as Regional Managing Director of Tiger Brands. His ability to always find himself a top corporate job has made him an inspiration for memes and more from Kenyans online, with many asking for his secret.
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