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Diplomatic Impunity: French School Nairobi Accused of Tax Evasion, Discrimination

The French Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Amb. Aline Kuster-Ménager (left) and Principal Secretary, Amb. Macharia Kamau

We at have received a lot of information accompanied by documents that shows the rot at French School Nairobi, Lycée Français Denis Diderot.

The information sent by an irate French worker shed light on the criminal issues such as tax evasion, employee mistreatment, work permit manipulation and apparent laxity by the Kenyan authorities especially the taxman Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) which has refused to act on the issue of tax evasion by the French embassy and its small establishments i.e. the schools.

The Ministry of Education has also not acted in the unregistered French School. (we need an explanation or we release all the documents).

Can the KRA move with sped to the French School of Nairobi and arrest the school’s management and confiscate documents, like they did  in the cases of Keroche and Africa Spirits, before the French criminals set the evidence on fire. We are Watching!

The evidence

Most of you have not heard of the French School of Nairobi. Have you?

Well, it is a French curriculum school that started back in 1962. It was originally meant to cater to the education needs of the French embassy staff members but the need expanded to cover other French nationals especially expatriates. They also have a significant population of Francophone nationals who in their home country follow the French curriculum. The agency that is in charge of disseminating the French curriculum abroad is the AEFE (

We will talk later about the governance structure of the school.

The school has nursery all the way to secondary education. As per the rules of the Kenya Ministry of Education, each level of school MUST be registered. French School is not registered properly, the nursery and secondary are not registered. Only the primary school is registered. We are also not sure but the Ministry of Education has a vetting process in order for a foreign curriculum to be offered in Kenya, and we do not think the French School has met the requirements. We certainly don’t know about the Swedish/German Schools but it’s checking on those too.

For the teaching staff, the school employs mostly French nationals or persons who are French-speaking (we have evidence). The school can either get a teacher from AEFE or directly recruit the teacher. These happens this way, if the teacher is sourced from AEFE they will most often be French and arrive in Kenya with a service passport that has a courtesy visa. The French embassy shall process the work permit through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a process that can take just one month and the person is considered legally working in Kenya.

For directly sourced teachers, the teacher will arrive in Kenya with a tourist visa and begin work immediately. THIS IS ILLEGAL!

The school shall facilitate the processing of a work permit and since this is a new work permit the process does take longer. Meanwhile, the staff member is working illegally and when the tourist visa is about to expire they go and have it extended. Note that all foreign nationals in Kenya are required to register via eFNS and get their own personal account. The staff at French school don’t! They have someone else do the processing.

A work permit is Kenya costs 200k for one year. The standard practice is to issue a work permit for 2 years so that means 400k. The French school does not pay this. All their work permits are given for free. Why is this, we asked our source.

Answer: The school was initially set up to cater to the education needs of the French embassy staffers. So from the beginning, the school was considered as an extension of the French embassy so even those that worked in the school were considered expatriate under the jurisdiction of the French Embassy. They claim that there is an agreement between the French and Kenyan governments that allows them to issue free work permits. THIS IS NOT TRUE!

Note that this touches the ministry of finance and for the past 2 years the school and French embassy have been at pains when renewing work permits to explain why they should be getting them free. But miraculously, the work permits get issued for free, after Immigration Department and ministry officials have been bribed. (We have evidence).

Now to the big issue; the school does not pay any taxes. Foreign nationals are paid their gross salary without PAYE (which means Kenya Revenue Authority – KRA receives no money) they also don’t pay NHIF and NSSF, NOTHING!

Now, fellow Kenyan, imagine going to France, setting up an 8-4-4 school, not having it registered, hiring teachers from Kenya, paying them crazy salaries and not paying tax! You would be thrown in jail! But no! This is French colonial rule in Kenya in 2019 and they choose to do what they want.

Our source says that the French are very cautious and that if we did deeper they will burn the evidence.

Institutionalized Racism

We are informed that discrimination and racism are institutionalized. What do we mean by this? There is an attachment to the employment contract that states that Kenyan and other African nationals are required to pay taxes in Kenya. However, French and European nationals can file taxes in their home country. This is blatant disregard for the laws of Kenya. learnt that in meetings, the French rubbish our laws and systems and honestly, it hurts!! Yes Kenya has problems, but this is our country, our home. For someone else to come and rubbish our country yet they are illegally here is just too much!

Earlier this year, immigration brought in new requirements for work permit renewal. The individual is required to provide corporate and individual tax compliance certificate. We heard that there was panic in the school that now they have been caught but that was not to be. Since then, 4 work permits that have been renewed without these requirements for 3 French nationals and 1 Azerbaijan. The department of immigration has a lot of explaining to do. How much did they receive in bribes? (we are investigating)

We were thoroughly informed that, not only do they evade payroll taxes they also import container load of supplies tax-free. How? The containers come under the guise of the French Embassy. The French school brings in all their supplies from France in container loads, from books to envelopes, and they do not pay taxes. As in they contribute close to nothing to the economy of our country! Note that this same practice is applied by other foreign embassies. I know of one that brought in very expensive kitchen appliances to help an individual set up a restaurant. We have opened ourselves for a free for all! Imagine a Kenyan shipping 2 forty-foot containers to France and not paying a single shilling in tax?

The government requires that all foreign students have student passes. None of the foreign students at the French school have student passes.

The Ministry of Education requires that all teachers are TSC registered – this I think regardless of the curriculum they are teaching – none of the foreign teachers have TSC registration.

The law requires that businesses register their logo, no the French school is not even registered. Wakenya  think of all the requirements to register a school/business entity and the French school has none. Why? Are the French above the law (where does diplomatic immunity start and end)

Staffing of the School

How does the school get staff? Their first and most important requirement is that they need to be French-speaking.

The school’s strategy therefore has never been to transfer skills to the local Kenyans. No! The strategy has always been to create ready employment for their own. Imagine this is a country where we have high unemployment!

French is a language taught in our schools and they could have easily partnered with local universities and trained teachers but no. They only want to employ foreign nationals, pay high salaries and with no tax!

Most employees are spouses of expatriates, our source reveals, this is where they get some staff. See examples below:

  1. Bastien Seignolles is the Director of Admin & Finance. He came to Kenya on a dependent pass. His wife Anne-Claire Delamarre is the General Manager East Africa & Arabian Gulf at Moet Henessy
  2. Loubna Chergui is the Chief Accountant. She is the wife of Adil El Youssefi who is Liquid Telcom CEO
  3. Alice Camournac is a new teacher and she doesn’t even have a work permit but is already working in the school. She is the wife of Charles-Edouard CambournacBusiness Team Director South East Africa Renault Trucks International

There are many more cases such as these. Nonetheless, we can clearly see that these are not people who are poor and seeking employment. These are people who are already doing well and just want to exploit the system and make more money. Remember, none of their income is taxed. The staff there don’t even have PIN numbers!

Taxation and Evasion

The Income Tax Act has a detailed schedule on which benefits are taxed and at what rate. Most of the staff get child education benefits (their kids are also at the French school), NONE pays tax on the education benefit! Don’t for a moment think that KRA is not aware of this!

The school is scheduled to break for the x-mas holiday on 20th December 2019 at which time most will be traveling and possibly not coming back.

Why hasn’t KRA moved in to end this entitlement and impunity? This information sits with them.

Why? Is it because they are “mzungus”? KRA harasses hardworking Kenyans but here we have an institution that for decades has not been paying taxes and you do nothing about it! They bring things in forty-foot containers under the pretext that they are for the French Embassy so they don’t pay taxes! Even pens and envelopes are from France! They contribute NOTHING to our economy and you guys at KRA do nothing!


END this racist culture.

The detectives should move to the French School faster so that those ungrateful Frenchmen and women don’t burn the evidence.

Would you like to get published on this Popular Blog? You can now email Cyprian Nyakundi any breaking news, Exposes, story ideas, human interest articles or interesting videos on: [email protected] Videos and pictures can be sent to +254 710 280 973 on WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram.



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