Paul Gathecha Muhoho: Inside PetroKenya Oil Company Owned By Uhuru’s Uncle

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Paul Gathecha Muhoho: Inside PetroKenya Oil Company Owned By Uhuru's Uncle
Photocredit/Courtesy

PetroKenya Oil is one of the largest oil marketing companies that deals in the supply of bulk petroleum products. The company made headlines in 2015 when it was linked to the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal as you will see elsewhere in this article. 

In this article, WoK brings you the story of Paul Gathecha Muhoho – President Uhuru’s uncle who is the largest shareholder of PetroKenya Oil Company Limited.

Paul Gatheca Muhoho

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He is the younger brother to Mama Ngina Kenyatta, President Uhuru’s mother. He is the father to former Kiambu legislator Anne Nyokabi Gathecha. The astute businessman serves as the director of Petrokenya Oil Company limited, a company he co-owns with flamboyant city businessman Gor Semelang’o. The latter was the majority shareholder in the company with 53 percent stake until in 2020 when he sold 45 percent of his shares worth Ksh 4.5 billion to a United Arab Emirates-based company. The sale meant that the former Chairman of the Youth Enterprise and Development Fund remained with 8 percent stake leaving Muhoho as the largest individual shareholder with a 47 percent stake as reported by Tuko.

Petrokenya Oil Company Limited

Petrokenya Oil Company limited is a leading exporter, importer and wholesaler of petroleum products and also liquids logistics provider in the East African region. It offers transportation and logistics services to all the major oil marketing companies across the region. The company has successfully established its operations in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In 2018, the company was caught in the controversial National Youth Service (NYS) scandal. According to the standard, NYS awarded a multi-million fuel supply tender to Horizon Kenya Limited, a company owned by businessman Ben Gethi. Gethi, who was adversely mentioned in the 2015 Ksh 791 million NYS scandal, contracted Petrokenya Oil Company to supply the fuel to NYS.

Gethi was unable to pay for the supplied fuel forcing Gathecha and his team to sue Horizon Kenya limited. The court directed NYS to pay Petrokenya directly Ksh 68 million for the supply of 500,000 liters of fuel translating to Ksh 104.4 per liter. It is evident that Petrokenya Oil Company limited did clean business with Horizon Kenya limited and wasn’t in any way involved in the NYS Scandal. Addressing the issue at the time, Gor Semelango who serves as the company’s director revealed that they only involved NYS after Horizon Kenya Limited failed to pay them.

“We delivered the fuel to NYS in the tender awarded to Gethi’s Horizon Kenya Limited, but we did not know he would be unable to pay for it. We went to court and that’s when NYS was involved and was asked to pay us directly,” he explained.

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