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Rise of ‘inside job theft’ is a bad image to the country

June 29, 2019

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

A number of Kenyan corporations are counting financial losses which result from an escalating wave of theft carried out by their employees.

It is alleged that over 80 per cent of theft and fraud in commercial banks, major companies and organizations plus state corporations originate from staff members.

During his state visit to Israel in 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta shocked the world when he revealed that Kenyans are experienced thieves. He said it is not easy for the country to realized economic growth due to culture of stealing in its members. He wondered how a desert country like Israel is far much ahead of his country in terms of development.

A Kenyan woman hit the headlines in the international media in November 2015 after she was alleged to have stolen meat from a meat processing company in South Africa.

The woman, in company of her colleague were said to have staffed the meat around their waist while they were leaving work. They were about to escape through the main gate before being arrested by the security officials who sensed that something was amiss.

It is being said that six out of ten people reporting to work have an intention of stealing while two do not intend to but given the opportunity, they will carry it out without any doubt. It is further speculated that in a group of 10 employees only one of them is an honest person.

The act of stealing in the country has caught attention of world renowned leaders such as the former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and the US President Donald Trump among others.

Before being elected the president Trump accused Kenyan people and government officials of depriving the country opportunity to thrive economically.

He said, “Look at African countries like Kenya for instance, those people are stealing from their own government and go to invest the money in the foreign countries. From the government to opposition, they only qualify to be used as a case study whenever bad examples are required.”

Mugabe echoed the same sentiments, “Those people of East Africa shock me with their wizardly in stealing. Sometimes I tend to believe that stealing is in every Kenyan’s blood. These people go to their schools and read their good courses but they qualify as the best thieves. You can even think that there is a subject in their universities called Bachelor of Stealing. Whenever they get an opportunity to steal, they never disappoint. They steal money to buy their freedoms because even the judges who listen to their cases are financially powerless,” he echoed.

Here are a few of the latest inside job heists that have flooded the media:

On June 27, 2019, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) summoned quite a number of Kenya Power and Lighting Company Ltd employees for questioning over fraud involving millions of shillings in the postpaid billing system.

The employees are alleged to have colluded with brokers, customers and siphoned funds from the company.

“The DCI is investigating allegations of fraud involving millions of shillings in Kenya power in regard to the postpaid system; the funds were lost as a result of conspiracy between some Kenya Power staff, brokers and customers,” said DCI boss George Kinoti.

Kenya’s second leading mobile operators Airtel has reported a loss of $6.7 million to staff fraud last year.

Despite putting into place security measures such as daily reconciliations, technical restrictions on the transfer of funds to non-airtel numbers, the company said that eliminating fraudulent activities by individuals employed by the telco or those working in partnership of it is a nightmare.

“Additionally, technical or administrative errors could result in customer losses for which group could be responsible, and the group may be liable for fraud and problems related to inadequately securing group payment systems,” the company said.

In another shocking heist, In August last year, four employees of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) were charged with stealing $720, 000 from their employer. Investigations dictated that the suspects transferred the money in small amounts to other accounts.

 

A number of senior government officials have also been linked with looting of public resources. The integrity of number of Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Members of Parliament, Governors, Senators, Woman Representatives, and Members of County Assemblies including the deputy president is questionable.

Kenyans are a laughing stock to their neighboring countries and others over their alleged habit of stealing. If one happens to visit a foreign country like Tanzania, the question you one may not miss from the locals is, “are you a thief?”

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