14 May 2019

Uganda: Oil Company Boss Josephine Wapakabulo Quits

Kampala — The Uganda National Oil Company (Unoc) board chairperson, Emmanuel Katongole, last evening acknowledged receipt of Dr Josephine Wapakabulo's resignation letter as chief executive officer, but said it 'has not been accepted yet'.

"The board will sit and discuss a way forward; we have a management succession plan, but Josephine is still working, she will leave after three months," Mr Katongole said.

Unoc is the statutory body mandated to manage the country's commercial interests in the nascent oil sector, including marketing of the country's share of petroleum received in kind, and to develop expertise in the oil and gas industry.

The company was incorporated in June 2015 and its body structure put in place starting with the board later that year, and subsequently Dr Wapakabulo, daughter to the former Speaker of Parliament, was appointed as chief executive officer on June 1, 2016.

But after almost three years on the job, Dr Wapakabulo yesterday tendered in her resignation to the board 'with immediate effect.'

Wapakabulo's remarks

"Chairperson, it has been an honour and privilege to work with you, the board, the staff of Unoc, as we set up and established Unoc to handle the state's commercial interests in the oil and gas sector.

"However, the time has come for me to focus on my family and new opportunities," Dr Wapakabulo's letter, read in part.

She similarly shared the same news of her exit from the lucrative national oil company to staff in an internal email of the company.

She, likewise, communicated the news to the Ministry of Energy--the supervising agency--top officials through WhatsApp messages.

She did not state the specific reasons for her resignation.

While Dr Wapakabulo seemingly had a good working relationship, officially, with most people in her line of work, outwardly she did not and the schism, between her institution, and others was apparent right from the day she joined.

"She chose to isolate herself, to focus on her work," one official told this newspaper.

Several sources this newspaper talked to cited heavy political meddling and intrigue at her work place.

Mr Katongole, however, maintained that she had a 'good working relationship' with all actors.

Education

Studies. Dr Wapakabulo holds a Global Executive MBA from Insead Business School in France, a PhD in Information Science, a Master's in Information Technology and a Bachelor's Degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Loughborough University in UK.

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