Can the real Safaricom board chairman stand up?


CAPTION: Michael Joseph (left) and John Ngumi

In organised societies, there’s a set of rules, regulations and laws that must be adhered to. But what happens when some few people in that society become moneyed and powerful close to the state?

Rules are bent.

On 29th July 2022, news broke that Safaricom Plc had appointed John Ngumi as its board chair.

That was just a few days before the August 2022 General elections.

However, after the defeat of Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga in that election, things seem to have gone south.

It appears that the corrupt Ngumi is not welcome, as Michael Joseph has been the centre of attention in al the important events.

This has raised eyebrows.

“Have you noticed that John Ngumi the “Chairman” of the Board of Directors of Safaricom is NOT ALLOWED to attend any of its functions (awaiting his removal by the Board)? The blue-eyed boy of the Uhuru regime is persona non grata in the Ruto Administration…that is life!,” Lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi wrote recently after the launch of Safaricom’s expensive 5G network.

Before this, another important event, Safaricom Sustainability Report was held, but Mr Ngumi, the former Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) Board chair was also not present.

CAPTION: Former Safaricom Chief Customer Officer Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge (Left) and current CEO Peter Ndegwa. Mr Ndegwa has been tryign to clean up house, but the forces that be have stifled that course. Ms Mulinge left to head MTN Uganda. Most of the staff billionaire staff that served since the time of Michael Joseph as CEO, have left the company.

Safaricom published the sustainability report (see attached tweet) with a message from the board chairman, Mr Michael Joseph.

During the announcement at the end of July, it was noted that Mr Ngumi would take over from Michael Joseph effective 1st August 2022.

It was not to be and Kenyans are wondering what happened to the appointment.

It appears the state-owned Telco has decided to stay with the devil they know than the devil whose misdeeds are open for everyone to see.

Mr Michael Joseph is known as Mr 10 per cent due to his asking for a kickback amounting to the god-given number for tithing, to award tenders.

His ownership of a ranch in Kenya’s boiling pot of land clashes in Laikipia is questionable. Though he recently denied that he owns the rank, the truth is out there. Safaricom’s Mr 10 per cent is not a clean man.

His grip on the throat of the Telco is diabolic but it was a miscalculating Uhuru Kenyatta that wanted to replace him with a non-performing thief.

Mr Joseph brieflyy served with Ngumi at Kenya Airways (KQ) board; both have failed to revive the ailing airline.

During Mr Ngumi’s tenure at KPC, just before he was appointed to the board of KQ, he was accused of looting.

As soon as Ngumi left KQ for Geothermal Development Company (GDC), Michael took over and his performance has been underwhelming.

It is Michael who never fancied a black man, Bob Collymore to take over as CEO of Safaricom. Though he had his weakness, Mr Collymore sure took the company to new heights that Michael could never have in a million years.

The late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore

After Collymore’s death, Michael came back and ruled briefly as CEO of the outfit, soon as Peter Ndegwa took over, Michael unceremoniously ousted Nicholas Ng’ang’a who had been at the helm for over a decade and a half and took the chairmanship.

Now it is becoming clear that the ‘Mugabe’ Michael Joseph wants to hold onto the Telco till death do them part.

For perspective, Collymore had announced his retirement plans before cancer quickly took him away.


  1. RIP KQ: Corrupt John Ngumi Appointed To The Board Of Kenya Airways

  2. Transcend Saga: Safaricom multi-billionaire staff and their subversion of justice

  3. The looting of GDC under Chairman John Ngumi and CEO Jared Othieno, the greatest and noblest critic and archiver of Safaricom ills think John Ngumi was not the best replacement for Michael Joseph, it is also time for the latter to move on.

Peter Ndegwa wants to chart a new course and Kenyan youth want to be paid their true royalty and compensated for the many ills of intellectual property thefts.

Who between Michael Joseph and John Ngumi, is the board chairman of Safaricom?

About the author

Karecha Kamaris

Karecha Kamaris is the space between earth and heaven, the gap between ice and fire, the elementary molecule that justifies unending peace in the sea of turmoil. An 'appetite for adventure over the love of ease'.

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